Day 61 – Saturday 24th March
Just got back from a proper fishing trip, on a boat! I mean we were still just using hooks on lines reeled around pieces of woods, but this time instead of going to the jetty these two Indian ‘fishermen’ took us to all the closest dive sites to catch lots of fish. After the first 10 minutes we had like 5 fish it was awesome someone was catching something every minute, except me. Dad caught a really cool looking fish, can’t remember what it was, but then after this quick start we didn’t catch another fish for like 2 hours, and then we eventually gave up after a good 3 hours in total. Despite the fact that I should really be against fishing at dive sites, I had a really good time, and it was nice just to sit and stare at the stars and chat with everyone, and I didn’t even catch anything, so I guess that’s my contribution to the dive environment. The rest of the day was pretty hectic, in the morning I had my 400m timed swimming test which was unbelievably tiring and considering I probably have the same fitness as Johnny Vegas due to years of not playing sport, I didn’t do so bad. My time actually gave me a 3 out of 5 which is bloody good, and I beat Craig’s time when he’s super fit and used to be a swimming champ which is enough for me. I did pretty much pass out about 3 times after it was done and just wanted to be sick everywhere. I also did my 100m timed tired diver tow, which wasn’t so bad and got a 5 in that. Next we did the equipment exchange stress test which involves completely swapping all your equipment except wetsuits (everything, mask, tank etc.) whilst only using one tank to breathe and only taking 2 breaths at a time. Safe to say it’s fucking difficult and unsurprisingly super stressful but I did it and my instructor was pretty happy.
Today I got to go on the snorkelling trip to a tiny island like 2 hours away, which was effectively a day off for me. Spent the way there sleeping on the boat, then when we got there swam around the island snorkelling and saw so much cool stuff, it was an awesome island and the marine life was just as good as pretty much any dive site here, which is why it’s a national park and they limit going there to just snorkelers. So it was a really nice chilled out morning and then I had the rest of the afternoon off just doing nothing. Eventually we all went out for dinner at a really nice restaurant, the current group of ‘we’ right now refers to Nico (a German doctor), Marcel (kiwi diver), Dad and me. So yeah, good dinner, then me Marcel and Nico came back here to have some beers and listen to music. I’ve got the day off tomorrow (first in 3 weeks of 6 o’clock wake ups) which meant I could stay up nice and late without worrying about feeling super tired the next day. It was nice just to sit around playing cards for a few hours and not constantly worry about the next day.
Had a day off today! As I said before, the first day in 3 weeks where I didn’t have to wake up at 6am which was absolutely amazing. Ended up staying up way too late last night and only got up at 11 so I sort of wasted it. Otherwise, it was a pretty productive day, I had a huge breakfast, for once, mango shake, banana pancake and eggs on toast. Needless to say but that was much better than the usual porridge I have to eat every morning when the kitchen isn’t even open. Then me and Nico went to the police station to get our Andaman visas extended (you can stay here for 30 days and then you can get a 2 week extension on top of that if you need). Being India we assumed it would be more difficult than needed, which it wasn’t really. Except the fact that the police man had a go at us for not turning up in the morning despite the station being open 24 hours! But yeah filled out a couple of forms gave him a photocopy of pretty much everything he could imagine and it’ll be ready tomorrow. Stopped by the internet on the way back, then came back here to swat up for my exam later (you didn’t think I’d have a complete day off now did you). Eventually went to take the exam feeling very unconfident, but managed to beast it and only got 1 wrong. After I was done, we all agreed to meet at beach 7 (the beach on the west side of the island, famed for its beauty and sunsets) it was actually a bit shit. It was just a bigger version of the beaches here, so a bit less island vibe, and the sunset was lame, it was pretty much hidden and yeah nothing specil. Safe to say I don’t feel too guilty having not been there in 3 weeks. The one good thing was the road on the way there was super windy and up and down and super fun to drive along on the bike. Did bump into one of the girls who left like 2 weeks ago to go to the other islands, and I keep hearing people dissuade me from leaving Havelock. Something you don’t have to tell me twice, I can’t be bothered moving from this paradise right now or ever really. Went out for dinner and had fish (again) pretty much every day for the past 10 days, then came back here and hung out with Marcel for a bit and we both got to bed early for diving tomorrow.