Monday, January 5, 2009

Meet Lisa - My Latest Student!

When I went to the dive shop on New Years day to get my tanks filled, Mr. Lee told me about an American couple who were here looking to get the wife certified to dive and asked if I would be interested in taking care of it that weekend. He said they wanted to get her certified as soon as possible. I called and left a message at their hotel, and as I crawled out of Lau Lau for my 2nd dive of the new year, my phone was ringing in my truck. Lisa's husband Scott was calling to see if he could arrange to get Lisa certified. They wanted to buy a mask and fins for her, so I arranged to meet them at the only real dive supply store on island and help advise them on equipment for her. We got her a mask and decided to hold off on the fins for the moment and see what style she liked using in the water. Lisa is coming out of the water in the picture above, after her final confined water training dive, very happy that the confined water training portion of the course is over.

Scott is an F-18 pilot on the USS George Washington, and Lisa teaches English in Japan, so they were perfects candidates to be the next victims of Axe Murderer Tours. Kelli and I asked if they would like to join us at the Seaside Grill at Pacific Islands Club for Happy Hour drinks and appetizers. Since they really had no plans or agenda, other than getting Lisa certified, they seemed more than happy to join us. We met up with Randy and Dayl, who I had been taking diving earlier in the week. Randy is a Navy professional diver, and he wanted Dayl to have an awesome dive experience, so he asked if I could make that happen for them. Not a problem! So we all enjoyed the sunset, a few drinks and appetizers, and Randy dutifully told Scott and Lisa that I was a great dive instructor. You would have thought I had paid him for the commercial, but he was just being nice.

So the plan was to pick up Scott and Lisa for lunch Friday, and then head to Sugar Dock for her confined water training. I decided to stop by the Post Office before getting them, and sure enough, Kelli's and my new cameras were there!!! What great timing! Lisa was an awesome student and put up with way more harassment from Scott and I than anyone should have to endure. It was starting to get a little dark though before we finished, so we decided to finish up the final two confined water dives on Saturday morning, and then head off for an open water dive.
Here you see Scott and Lisa in the water at Lau Lau. Even though we were getting some very gusty trade winds, and high waves on the other side of the island, Lau Lau was calm and beautiful. The visibility was the best I've seen there in a very long time. Almost as if on cue, as soon as we came to the end of the rope going in at Lau Lau, we ran into this guy.
He was munching on seaweed and algae right next to the pipeline, and let us get right up to him for a good look. I can't think of a better way to get someone hooked on diving than spending some quality time with a green sea turtle on their very first open water dive. He was also very cooperative about posing for some pictures as well.
I know I've said it many times, but there is truly something magical about just swimming alongside of a turtle. You tend to forget about everything else and just exist in the moment with the turtle. It was an outstanding weekend all weekend for diving at Lau Lau and the turtles were everywhere.Here is Scott just watching as this turtle decides to go up for some air. It was a great weekend of diving, and Lisa is just one dive away from being certified now, which will be happening this afternoon. My next 2 months are going to be packed full of dive students and classes, but there is always room to fit in another if you're interested. I'll introduce you to my turtle buddies at Lau Lau.