Island Life

I hope to be making blog entries on a more regular basis once the real travelling starts, but at the moment I’m just chilling on this amazing Caribbean island and not much is happening so there isn’t much news! But I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been up to.

To leave off from my last blog entry I had just moved into Underwater Vision. So I quickly completed my Emergency First Response course (first aid) and PADI Rescue diver course and began my Divemaster training proper. This basically entails doing as much diving as I want and my body can cope with (I could theoretically dive 5 times a day, 4 in the day and one at night but this would seriously knacker me out). The dives I do vary between assisting on courses (3 types: Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver) and going fun diving. In parallel to this I have various academical and practical work to complete. For example yesterday was a timed 400m swim and later today I will sit my second written exam. It’s really good fun as every day we go out with a fresh set of excited divers and then chill on our beach or in the bar for the rest of the day whilst eating the local speciality: Super Baleadas. A burrito with varying contents e.g. chicken, tomato, pepper, lettuce, cabbage, beans, cheese, sour cream, avocado, egg, and spices. Cost £1 : ).

Ready to dive:

There’s a really friendly vibe about the island and you can strike up conversations with anybody which leads to friendships developing rapidly between the wide variety of travellers from around the globe. It isn’t just the travellers that are friendly and easy going but the islanders too. They speak in Creole which sounds similar to a West Indies accent but slightly different. But some people speak only Spanish. They are super chilled out and everybody knows each other which makes the whole island feel like one big family. You can see how people get sucked into this place and find it hard to leave.

A Canadian divemaster friend of mine and I were invited to play volleyball with the locals yesterday which was very entertaining and we held our own against them thanks to the daily practice we get on the Underwater Vision court. The local tactic appeared to be to smash the ball at every conceivable chance which was slightly different to my approach of just getting it back over the net. Although it sometimes felt like a bravado thing rather than a shot they realistically felt they would make! I’m also hoping to join in with the island football sessions which should be equally as interesting.

Volleyball and view of the beach area at Underwater Vision

On the room front things are better now after my initial shock and it appears I was being highly strung in thinking my room was bad. I’ve heard many horror stories about accommodation around Central America and even here on the island including bed bugs, 40 bed dorms and even scabies so I now consider myself lucky I have such a convenient private room that gets cleaned daily. However, there was an incident that shook me up one night: having got my head down early after a full day of diving I sensed something in my hair a few hours into my sleep – it felt like something burrowing! So I instinctively swatted it away, jumped out of bed and turned on the light. I looked around the room for a bit and saw nothing and considered that it might have been a dream. I was about to get back in bed when I decided to check the last place under the fan and out scurried a huge cockroach! The hunt was on for this abominable creature and for 10 minutes I chased the beast round my room with flipflop in one hand and deodorant can in the other (FYI that doesn’t work). The bed frame was up against one side of the room and the mattress against the other and eventually the sneaky bugger escaped underneath my door. I made a makeshift draft excluder with a towel to keep it out but I can’t say the rest of the night offered my my soundest sleep ever! I also felt a bit queasy the next day when I was told it might have been trying to lay its egg in my hair.

Dirty great cockroach

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