(For people who know me, imagine me reading this post, for the people who don’t imagine a lot of it as sarcastic, humorous post rather than me being too serious!)
So I’ve been scuba diving for the past 18 months and am part of Cambridge’s BSAC club. Part of their motto is (or should be) ‘If you don’t volunteer you get volunteered’ which is fairly true….. I never planned on becoming a qualified boat driver/handler (yes you have to be qualified, I guess it makes it less likely that someone will have their head chopped off, if the driver of the boat vaguely knows what they’re doing?) but other members of the club decided differently!
No, I’m not complaining really, I can see the point that it often feels like the same people volunteer for stuff all the time plus newer younger members have to learn the skills so there are people who can learn from the more experienced and take over later (which is also how I became their secretary, trust me its not to do with my amazing organisational skills!) Plus when I had a practice drive apparently I looked really happy, a look which I put down to the fact that I finally stopped being seasick…..
Anyway…. a few months ago the club decided they needed more qualified people to drive the boats during club trips and I was nominated along with a couple of other people. We completed our lectures and dry practical sessions a couple of months ago; it mostly involved learning the rules of the sea; ie drive on the right hand side, know different signals and safety buoys and practiced tying some knots.
We had planned on having the open water session a few months ago, but the weather was so cold the instructors thought all we would learn is how best to shiver to keep warm. Thankfully the day we rearranged to was perfect, beautifully sunny with a slight breeze, so we didn’t boil or freeze in our drysuits. We had to learn everything from scratch, how to get the boats, or RIBS, (Rigid inflatable boat) sea ready, get them into the water, maneuvering around obstacles, picking up divers, getting divers into the water safely, dealing with ‘man overboard’ and putting down shot lines and ‘parking’ the Ribs. Let me know if any of that made sense!
Maneuvering was brilliant fun, getting to do doughnuts a high speed, going around buoys and reversing, its even more fun than driving a car! Docking is a skill that I have yet to acquire as both of my attempts ended with the rib in the wrong direction and we had to be dragged in via the towlines….. opps. Practice makes a little better right??
I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a boat handler, but the day trip out was really fun, and all the things we had been taught in the classroom made a lot more sense. Plus I feel like next time we go out on the boats I have a clue about what to do to get the boat ready! You know the feeling of being completely unsure so standing around watching and mostly getting in the way? Yep that’s how I felt last time, so next time I should have an idea of what to do 🙂
Hope you all had a good weekend!