First of all of course a lot of googling. I try to find any tips on how to make the assignment. Of course the location of the dive site was already decided by my instructor and my task was to present and explained to him what are the things , layout and all relevant details about my dive map.
Something like a dive briefing should be.
What my instructor didn’t tell me is how am I going to execute it. What measurement in meter or time? How long the dive would be? What my map will be like. He did however helped me by showing a printed laminated google earth map of the D’lagoon area.
So the rest was up to me.
Some of the google tips I found in the internet are
On the 1st dive, my instructor took me and just showed me around briefly of the area for my assignment. Later on I did another dive together with a buddy and tried to fill in more details about the area. I brought along an
Underwater video camera so that once on land I could have clearer images of the thing I may have miss out during the dive.
My instructor given me 2 days to complete the dive map. The next day , I went out for a snorkel swim around the area.I wanted to measure the distance around the location and any on-land features as reference. Example such as the marking
Of the stones on the shore, the bouyline, the platforms. Any big corals which can be seen from above.
Once I satisfied with my dive map, I try to make an image out of the things I saw. I choose to make a 3D image of the site.
On land , I took the bearing from the resort to the platform. I snorkel and try to measure the distances from shore to the dead corals
And patches corals. I took the measurement of depth. I timed my swim. I look at the boats moving in and out.
Underwater, I took the bearing of the platform. Once underwater , I swam and at the same time lookup whether
I can find the bouyline at the surface. I marked distinctive corals. I sketch an imaginary image of the dive route I plan to guide.
To some the location of the dive is somewhat “easy” since the site is just shore dive. Any diver can do it.
I told my instructor that I wanted to guide and presented my dive map for a night dive. Since the presentation was already
On the 2nd day , I already took note the current condition of the water , the weather, the location of the resort on the
Night before. The things I noticed was :
The condition of the sea while at night.
-The tide low around 6pm.
-It gets dark around 7.20pm.
-Since the day I arrived , the area had been very windy so the surface was a bit choppy and with the low tide and shallow reef
It will take a few hard finning to get to the platform if surface swim.
-The boats were less active at night.
– Lights available was only from the chalets and restaurant.
Another thing I had to add in my notes was an Advance Open water student together in the group and will be doing the night dive for the 1st time. I gave an extra effort by motivating the student 4 hours before the night dive. Trying to support and encourage her that no harm will come to her during this dive since I will be guiding the group.
Around 6.30pm , we gathered at the Dive center and I started to brief them about the map, the site, the hand signal and
Other related safety measures. Even answered a few questions from the student.
By 7.10pm we entered the water. We switched on our dive torches. I was in front of the group leading them slowly so that they don’t stumble upon the dead corals and rocks. Every few seconds I turned around and guiding them with my lights.
Once I look down and saw the level was good enough to descend which was about 2-3m, I signal them to descend.
Before the dive , the student complained about being tired and exhausted from surface swimming so I reminded myself since the water was choppy and windy at night , I have to cut the surface swim by half and have more underwater swimming to the platform. The execution went smoothly and the dive was great. That night dive was my 1st time ever encountered with so many blue spotted rays at the same spot. Almost 5-6 of them and they were not very shy with our lights. Some even came towards us which was kinda freak me out 😛 . The late Steve Irwin being stabbed by a stingray was in my mind.
Below are a few images which I took from google earth as to double check the bearings against my actual compass navigation.
If you look at the video link you can see how I documented my bearings while I was snorkeling and diving.
video link dive map skill 1
video link dive map skill 2