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Open Water Scuba Diver – Pool Training Day 1 January 11, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Training.
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On Saturday I assisted with a new class of diving students, all of whom are seeking referrals to complete their training in a warmer climate as our local bodies of water are all around the freezing mark and starting to ice over. Now that I’m no longer a Divemaster in Training, I’m not required to hang around the store all day while the classroom instruction is going on, so I showed up at 10AM, an hour before the pool session was to begin. Getting in later allowed me to get up at my normal Saturday wake-up at 7AM, complete a 45 minute run, and have a hot breakfast before heading out.

To my surprise, in addition to the Assistant Instructors (Steve and Marty) and Divemaster (Rich) I was expecting, we also had Assistant Instructors Ron, Dave and Matt, and Andrew and Martin as Divemasters in Training. Along with the 9 students, we also had 3 or 4 certified divers in the pool who were refreshing their skills. It made for quite a crowd.

At some points, it felt a bit like an audition or tryout, with the pro staff trying to show their stuff before someone else could jump in, but most of the time things were very cooperative. My first challenge was a student who didn’t feel comfortable breathing underwater. I took him aside and we did it one step at a time. He held his nose while breathing through his mouth, then added a regulator, then added the mask, then tried it underwater eventually with no problem. I had to then take him through regulator removal and replacement and regulator recovery because he had fallen behind at that point.

We only had 1 lane of a 25 metre long pool. Lane rental is $100/hour so it is a precious resource indeed. Consequently, will all the divers around, any of the swimming exercises like the regulator to snorkel switch were a bit of a traffic jam. Some of the other exercises I demonstrated and observed were the mask flood and clear, and mask removal and replace, and breathing from a free flowing regulator. Even reading the pressure gauge is a required skill which I also had to take a student through.

Once all the exercises were done we used the lane to put people through their 200 yard swim, and the 10 minute tread water/float. One girl was really impressive at the latter exercise and just for fun she held her hands out of the water for almost the entire time. She moved her legs in circles instead of back and forth and seemed to get a lot of lift that way.

Once done, we loaded the gear into the truck and headed back to the shop, and unloaded everything including the tanks which all needed to be filled.

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1. Paul - January 11, 2009

Moving her legs in opposite circles is referred to as an egg beater pattern and is common among lifeguards, synchronized swimmers and water polo players. It does work very well but is also rather physically exhausting. I also wonder how great it is for your knees.

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2. deepstop - January 13, 2009

I was just speaking to someone today about it at the office, and she told me that she was at Disneyworld with her kids and was holding one of them up in the pool while using the egg beater pattern. She said it was exhausting and hurt her knees, so you’re absolutely right. Saturday was the first time I’d seen or heard of it.

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