Scuba diving isn’t just about descending into the unknown and blowing bubbles, it’s a social hobby, a career, a platform where everyone is equal and therefore open to the unusual onslaught of banter and verbal abuse that cannot be found in everyday life, particularly if you have a sarcastic streak.
Once you enter the world of diving you leave behind some of the silent etiquette that you have been automatically uploaded to. For example, a lady would never blow a volcanic amount of snot out of her nose without a tissue or the privacy of a restroom, or indeed proclaim that the thermocline you’ve just swam through is in fact the contents of her post dive bladder; Well that all changes once you don a wet-suit. As does the on-boat banter, which in some cases bounces around like a 2-year-old child having consumed 34 E numbers.
Of coarse there are those that insist on conforming to the norm so one has to be selective around such sensitive people….unless you’re Scottish, Canadian, Irish, English…..well, you get the idea.
During my latest outing (& previous blog Surin Islands) the staff and I quickly realized during the welcome brief, that we had a number of customers nattering and chortling away much akin to the kiddies naughty table of yesteryear’s primary school.
Lets have a look at the type of people you could possibly meet on entering this crazy past-time……..
Alex – Advanced Diver
By FAR the oldest of the group, this stunner (and a dab hand at Photoshop, see photo) was rubber stamped as the ‘Posh one’ just because of her superior elocution. Hailing from Derby and a diving addict Alex made a beeline for Thailand leaving hubby behind just to see fish. She has her priorities in order that’s for sure!! Generally seen late in the evening casually doing some sort of freaky shaped yoga stretch whilst everyone else continues emptying the contents of a Singha.
Jeremy & Jess – Dive Masters
Another English gent and a nice chap but hairier than a silver back and with oversized feet he quickly became the Hobbit of the boat albeit he’s 5’9. I’d also point out that Jezza introduced the word Spaff to our non-English comrades (you’ll find it in the Urban Dictionary if you are at a loss)
Coming from Canada Jess (yes that’s her behind Hobbit boy) certainly has a sarcastic streak but too much amusement we found that the mere thought of someone being seasick turned her stomach. Not one person mimicked the ‘being sick noise’ at all!!
Romany – Dive Master
A true Scottish woman with the feisty confidence that you would expect from a red-head, Romany was visiting Thailand for the second time. First time around she took a nose dive from the balcony she’s pointing at only 4 days into her trip. We all came to the conclusion that no mortal could ever survive such a fall unless they had Romany’s built-in airbags.
Beware, this lady is quick when it comes to slapping the banter back and forth.
Simon – Dive Master
Here’s the eye candy for the girls; This reprobate is one of my good friends that I met whilst working at Big Blue, Koh Tao & he was completing his professional training . A heart of gold and a singing voice that pisses everyone off (because it’s just that good). Simon certainly has bucket loads of sarcastic banter albeit the wet lettuce was sick for the first 2 days due to having a tag-along friend called Alan (Alan was the alien-like cyst stuck under his armpit until the doctor jabbed him in the ass & fed him horse pills)
Justin – Instructor
A true Canadian, Justin completed his Pro training at Crystal Dive, Koh Tao which is where he probably didn’t learn that permanently wearing a baseball cap back to front in the constantly frying sun tends to give you a seriously white bald head and a golfers tanned face. I’ll leave the banter options to your imagination on that one!! Much like his country folk Mr Beiber is quite partial to a drink, thankfully he takes after the rest of his nation and has a limit only slightly above the drink drive limit of the UK before he is snoring.
Sorrel aka Squirrel – Dive Master
Squirrel has two brains, one for the work she does and the degree of intellect hidden away and the other for, well, everyone else to take the piss out of. As her mum says, she’s highly intelligent but has no common sense whatsoever. Example, Sorrels route to Thailand took her through Abu Dabi, or in her words “Abu Daboooo” says it all really. Another of my friends and another product of Big Blue Diving Sorrel never fails to amuse and raise a smile on everyone’s faces. Never dive with her, she scares away Turtles, you’ll never see one!!
Rene – Advanced Diver
(course completed on this Wicked Diving trip)
Ze German of the group, Rene is quite a quiet guy and much like Casper the friendly ghost tends to hide away in the shade away from the sun. Although, you give this German a beer and his smile increases to the ears and the broken English starts to flood out along with the rest of the unruly bunch. Rene loves diving that much that as soon as we hit dry land he signed up to do his Rescue Diver; So if you are ever in need of help and you see and think you see a ghost coming your, don’t panic…..it’s your hero!!
Inge & Matt – Instructors
Both being fanatical about diving Inge & Matt played a rudimentary role in making sure the kids were kept under control. At the end of the day Inge is the Trip Leader and therefore has to be sensible & Matt, well Matt is mature in mind but not in age (unlike Alex), sensible, completely serious all the time and both see banter as a mere distraction from the professionalism they exude. Perfect people to keep the kids in line. Which we did, perfectly…….honest.
Never leave a pre-drawn map overnight when you have kids onboard, it may get slightly changed (Alex, Jeremy, Simon!!)…….
No matter where you dive or which company you use, I can confidentally say that you will be welcomed with open arms by like-minded individuals who just want to dive and have fun. Keep the serious head for when it’s needed, just prior to and during a dive, the rest of the time relax, enjoy your surroundings and above all, enjoy the amazing people from all walks of life that you are sure to meet.
Feel free to post any comments or questions you may have about diving or indeed the locations and I’ll get back to you once the kids are in bed.