Dive Buddy Woes

Date: 2020-02-01 · Word Count: 698 · Reading Time: 4 minutes

Today was just weird, and not in a good way. It started off with my dive buddy (and class mate) deciding that on the dive boat was the place to bring up some concerns they’d been having and choosing to do so at full volume so the whole boat had to listen to it. I was embarassed, to say the least.

The assertion was that my poor swimming lead to us bumping into each other frequently and that this was entirely my problem. This was rather frustrating to hear as I’d been noticing the same pattern of us frequently choosing to be in the same space, but had written it off as part of life given we’ve been doing reef research which is frequently at close quarters. Unfortunately, they were insistent that this was entirely my fault and that I needed to be more spacially aware and have better boyancy control. I’ll admit that I do need to improve in these areas, but the assertion that it was entirely my fault was somewhat galling, given this person has rather poor control themselves.

So, for our first dive, I chose to hold at 25 meters as they were swimming the top of the reef (around 15 meters). Surely, I thought, this would be sufficient to not have any unscheduled bumps, even if it did cost me in both decompression limit time and air consumption (for the non-divers, the deeper you go, the faster your air consumption). Unfortunately, this was not to be as they came crashing down about half way through the dive and I barely missed being kicked in the head. So, somewhat upset, I returned early to the boat; having used up all my air and, embarassingly, failed to recognise that my attemps to indicate my low air status to the dive leader had not been understood so things were a bit rushed at the end.

Unfortunately, the second dive proved to be no better as, when I was practicing hovering during the safety stop, they did manage to kick me in the head. So, not only to I get embarassed in front of the whole boat with wild accusations that our closeness in the water is entirely my fault, I then get kicked in the head as a way of reinforcing that it not actually all my fault.

Frustration turned to anger though when I attempted to pull them aside later in the afternoon to have a private chat about what’s going on and I got rebuffed. As they’ve been sniping at my for the last week and the last time I attempted to work out what was going wrong all I got was “I’ve not been sleeping well”, I feel it’s unfortunately likely that I’ll have to have a very public discussion about why this behaviour is unacceptable, rather than a quiet personal discussion about what the concerns are and how we might get back to something that works well for both of us. This is a frustrating situation to be in as we’re both going to be at the dive school together for the next month, although they’re fortunately not doing IDC so I’ll see less of them.

On the plus side, I filed another REEF survey and we got to see a whaleshark up close and personal. I did manage to get some good video of it, especially the left side, so I also got to file a Wildbook report. If you’re not familiar with these programs, REEF collects information on reef health by asking divers to do roaming surveys identifying fish species and abundance. Wildbook keeps track of Whalesharks, which we know very little about, and is able to identify them by the patterns on their skin. If you ever see a whaleshark please try to get a photo or video of the left side of the body, especially the section just behind the pectoral fin, and submit it to Wildbook.

Tomorrow is the last dive of the GoEco program, after which I start the instructor development course (IDC), which I’m greatly looking forward to. So, while today was frustrating, the next couple of weeks should be both intense and very fun.

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