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Posted by TDI_2 on July 01, 2002 at 10:20:14:

I just spent the first 3 days of a gruelling 3-weekend NAUI ITC with 6 other divemasters and a NAUI course director in 36 hours of what NAUI believes is a civilized instructor curriculum. Torture would be another synonym.

On the first day, only two of the 7 of us were able to execute the skin diving D&R. That would be me and one other D/M so I must say I represented PADI well. Although several divers in the group are accomplished freedivers who can hold their breaths close to 2 mins in the poolside breathhold drill, it seems that once you have to recover your mask, snorkel, and fins underwater, psychology interferes. I remember doing this drill 27 years ago for my OW1 with NAUI, so I already knew it was possible.

During the classroom presentation phase, only two of us accomplished a grade of 3 or more. My topics were (a) how to measure an abalone underwater properly and (2) pros and cons of Yoke vs DIN. The other diver who got the 3 was the same guy who also passed the D&R.

He wanted to buddy up with me during much of the rest of the weekend, but the course director split us, and paired us with weaker divers. If we want to be NAUI instructors, that seems fitting. We would not have learned very much paired up during the rest of the program. It would have then been too easy.

My new buddy outweighs me by about 75 lbs, and I carried him half way up the beach during the rescue drills til a huge breaker knocked us both down, and I had to drag him the rest of the way. The others are taught to do a leg drag, only that drowns the victim in surf. So I dragged him by his shoulders grabbing his 7mm wetsuit skin. It kept his head high and dry, and we rode the surf in together up to the hard sand, where I could finally switch to pulling him by his feet. I remembered having to do this in SSI's rescue class too.

This course director requires all of his instructor graduates to carry him all the way up the beach before graduation. So after Goliath, I had to carry the course director. Since he only weighs 185 lbs it was a piece of cake compared to Goliath. The course directors wife, who is also a NAUI instructor, and their kids, who are future NAUI instructors more than likely, were watching as "daddy got carried up the beach!" Family entertainment.

The surf in Santa Cruz this past weekend was surf-able. It pounded us in the surf zone on the relatively flat beach near the harbour there for 3 hours. It made me wish I had a surfboard, or at least my diving kayak with me.

During our off moments at meals together, we argued and debated whether dive computers should take the place of tables, and whether ScubaPro is still worth all the money, and what fins are the best for todays divers. Nobody said much about my old ScubaPro jet fins. They had heard of them, and read about them in history books, but never seen any in real life before. They just looked at them.

My PADI D/M insurance lapsed this past weekend and my PADI D/M membership will lapse in December if I dont renew it.

NAUI will kick in sometime this month, assuming I pass this ITC.

And if I dont, it would seem to me that 6 other divers have bigger problems in store for them than they ever dreamed. Proof again, that you dont have to outrun the bear or outswim the shark, you just have run or swim harder than the other tourists.

I am going to try to help some of these folks with their skin diving D&R. Demo it, maybe. I am the oldest person in this ITC, so if I can do it, they should then see that they can do it too.

I think all 7 of us will probably do fine.

Bonding is great.

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