Friday, 26 January 2007

Instructor's NIGHTMARE ;)

I've already told you: I may be in Paradise, but that does NOT mean that I relax and enjoy myself all the time ;)
Anyway, I had a day off last week, which was great..........We walked to Puerto Galera and it's actually quite a nice little 6 km walk. This is the view from the road:

Not too shabby really :D

Thus refreshed after a lovely (and needed) day off, I have done 1 DSD, 1 Open Water course and finished 2 Open Water referral courses in 7 days. Busy! It's great, I'm loving it and am happy that I get to do all the courses.

HOWEVER, during one of those courses a group of 16 Chinese travel agency owner came to review our resort. And 7 of them accepted our kind offer to try scuba diving: a so-called Discover Scuba Diving experience, which in principle means a bit of theory, an hour in the pool and then a dive in the open water under direct supervision of an instructor. Lucky me!!! I had 7 Chinese people, who hardly spoke English and didn't really want to dive - just a fun afternoon.......

The pictures were taken in the beginning, before chaos entered and they started giving up - one after the other....................Fortunately, I had three of our great divemasters with me, but still.......One hour later, 4 hardcore adventurers finished the pool session (obviously not without panicking several times) - and to my horror announced that they wanted to do the open water dive!!!! Oooohhhhhhhh nooooooooooo........... In my head, I saw the first casualties on my otherwise clean record sheet (I'd have two divemasters with me, but still: these Chinese were BAD news in the water)...... After a night of nightmares, I considered my options. Hmmm, didn't have any ;) Went to work and........... YES, they had changed their minds; they did not want the open water dive :) What a relief, pfffffffff

Now at least you know that life is not perfect constantly here. Just 99% of the time ;)

Take care, lotsa xxx

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Postcard from Paradise.......

WOUW, I am flattered and impressed by the reaction / response / attention. Seems like most people forgive me for being such a lousy "contact keeper" :D

The tough life in Paradise continues..... I am working very hard and very much, lately I have been guiding quite a lot, since we did not have any courses - starting an open water course today, though.

Fortunately, the weather has turned as predicted: we now have summer! Summer means blue sky, a little breeze to make the 32 degrees bearable and more importantly: warmer water ;) We are now back to 27 degr water temperature, which makes a huge difference to 25, I can assure you.... I am still wearing my new hooded vest though - cannot believe I ever went diving without one.

Wednesday was "tip day" - we shared the tips from last week........4300 pesos = 45 GBP / 70 EUR / 450 DKK. Lasts quite a while down here, so this promises to be a good month.

Thursday, I took my weekly day off. We walked to Puerto Galera (approx. 6 km), had lunch in the yacht harbour, looking at a Bavaria 39 (yep Torben, it looks even better with blue skies and clear water as a background) - and lazily enough took a Jeepney back. I'll have to take a picture of one of those: old American military jeeps that have been pimped up completely and are now main transport here; sort of mini-bus.

What else does a diving instructor do on her day off? She goes snorkelling of course - cannot get enough of that aquatic life ;)

On my first dive yesterday I saw the biggest turtle I have ever seen. It was as long as me and didn't mind my presence at all. Fantastic! I didn't even now that turtles can be that big.

Anyway, life in Paradise is great - in fact even greater now that the summer is here. And as opposed to my last two students, this one actually WANTS to dive and CAN swim - he is not being forced by his partner. Tsk, tsk, some people.....

Take care everyone, hope the winter is not TOO bad *lol*


Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Welcome to my world :D

Well, it's no surprise really..............I am not very good at writing everyone as often as I'd like to.........You may have noticed??? Anyway, I hope I'll be better when it comes to keeping this blog up-to-date - I promise to do my best ;)

Very shortly for those of you who haven't heard from me the past month or 20: 2005 I finally did the right thing: I fell in love again :) With my dive instructor of all people - I know it sounds like a terrible kliche! And I decided that I've spent enough time wearing suits........It was time for a new uniform: boardshorts and flip-flops (or thongs, as they are often called). Next, I just needed to find an occupation, where this attire would be acceptable - and which would allow me to pursue my new hobby, scuba diving. In a moment of bright thinking, I realised that these two criterias could be combined!

Next step was to quit my job, sell my house and say bye-bye to having a proper job and a regular income.........And to spend three months in Thailand to become a divemaster. Tough life, I assure you :D

I spent this summer in the UK - yes, my boyfriend (Simon) is British. Oh, but NOT a football (or any other) hooligan ;) I had already decided to take 6 months gap, and I must admit that I had a great summer (well, apart from 6 weeks following my long due "nose job"). We went to Denmark several times and spent quite a bit of quality time with my family. Wonderful to be free :)

BUT hanging around doing nothing only works a limited period of time......and then it's time to start the hard working life again............... soooooooooo 1st November 2006, Simon and I boarded another plane - this one took us to the Philippines. So we have now spent two months here in Paradise (Puerto Galera on the island Mindoro)

I have spent the time well: took another course and am now a qualified scuba instructor, yippie. Not enough though...........I was amazingly lucky: the dive shop I did my instructor course with, were looking for a female multi-lingual instructor. Yep, I now have a permanent job here - which actually pays a decent amount of money :D Simon is freelancing, which is not as good here as in Thailand, but we make enough money to survive.

Oh, if anyone is interested, this is the place I work for: - the best on the island (and the best restaurant too). And cool management: friends and family get high discounts, so feel free to visit :D

I have already certified 7 divers, which is not bad at all. Unfortunately, I have another cold (3rd in two months), so I cannot dive - which explains how I found the time to do this ;) The weather has been quite bad here. December gave us 2 typhoon hits and a big storm and it's generally overcast - so no suntan here. The water is cold too - I've had to invest in a hooded vest, so now I only get cold after 40-45 minutes dive time.

Apart from weather and health, life is really great here. We have met some special people and are building up friendships. Part of my job is to stay in the hotel bar until 20:00 5 evenings per week, so there's a lot of socializing going on :) Fortunately, staff gets half price on food and beverages, so it's quite affordable - one beer costs me around GBP 0,30 / DKK 3.50 / EUR 0,45. Cooooooooooooooool.

Anyway, more details will follow shortly........................... For now, let me just apologize to all non-Brits that the text is in English - I cannot really find the energy to do a multilingual blog.........Sorry......

Happy new year everyone, take care

Lotsa xxxxx

Under water in Puerto Galera

Underwater Christmas tree ;) Or rather: black coral with Christmas decoration......

We have different kinds of seahorses: pygmy, thorny - and this large one

Who came up with the idea to call this a devilfish???

Weird-looking creatures and quite rare.........Frogfish.........Did I mention that I spotted during the first dive, I guided???? Blush.....

Definitely prettier than the land-based cousins, slugs......This nudibranch is about 2,5 cm long - Puerto Galera is famous for its variety of nudibranches

I still love to look at moray eels.........

Life in Puerto Galera

Simon at Escarceo LighthouseIt's a dirty job......but when you pass a course, you also have to pass the infamous snorkel test.....I've done two already and am proud to announce that I impressed quite a few people with my skills ;)
This is the not so shabby view from our balcony at sunrise

No computer games and Playstation are what you make of them.......Average salary for a worker is GBP 3 / DKK 33 / EUR 4,50 - per day, that is

If we need cash, clothes, shoes or basically anything other than food, we have to go to Batangas on Luzon. The boat ride is about 1 hour - this is one of the larger / more modern ferries.......

Quality time in Denmark

My sister, Marianne, letting her hair down at Torben's wedding :D

My brother, Torben, his wife, Kirsten, and all their children.........

Simon and my brother, Jacob, enjoying a luxury picnic with sparkling wine in Haderslev mid-October (!)