PADI IDC Becoming a PADI instructor -Diveteam Lysekil Sweden

I have said I’m all into diving now… I have seized the moment and done more dive courses than planned lately. My new work didn’t pan out as planned – but I have had time to do the EFRI, AI and OWSI.

The sea is cold but Lysekil is as beautiful as ever. The IDC course doesn’t require much time in open water anyway. It’s a lot of hours in the pool and in the classroom. It has been a struggle and I have my strengths and weaknesses. I will have to fight for this!

I had two weeks between the IDC and the IE (Instructor Examination) and I did everything to prepare. Five P strategy! Sometimes close to a nervous breakdown. But I pulled through! Not giving up is the most important in everything we do.

First day of the IE we were busy from 08 to 21. Tests in Dive Theory and PADI Standards, followed by lesson planning and Confined Water drills. Day two started in Nyborg 08.30 – time to get into Open Water. The conditions weren’t great as the wind picked up and my regulator froze in the 5C water. But we all did our job and managed to get certified PADI instructors – a big win!

I want to thank everyone who helped out, participated and worked hard. Follow your underwater dreams – below and beyond.

 

Had a relaxed day in Lysekil yesterday. Lysekil is one of the busiest divespots in Sweden. I went to Diveteam Lysekil that had arranged a lecture in marine biology. Researchers reach out to divers and gave a very informative and inspiring talk about lobsters. I didn’t know how little was known about lobster ecology. Since they live on bottoms they are hard to study in their natural habitat. Having a stable population is important both to preserve the environment and for the fishery interests. Now we get to the hard part! Lobsters are slow breeders. Lobster reproduce by transfer of sperm during summer and the female then makes ova and fertilize the eggs for next year. Then comes a larvae stage where the to-be lobsters move with the current. It takes 7-8 years until a lobster reaches the size we are used to see them in the store. All in all, a slow and vulnerable life cycle with many unknowns.

Another problem is a possible invasion of foreign lobster species, mainly the American lobster. There has been sightings and there are questions about cross reproduction fertility and competition. Luckily,  as invasive species is a global problem that can unbalance ecosystems and give wide-ranging  destructive effects, this is an area of marine ecology that can get some research funding. The researchers are thinking of working with divers who report sightings and also bring in pictures of the claws. The EU-funded project “carapax” has found a relationship between body weight and claw proportion between the big and small part of the claw. Hereby photographs can be used to “weigh” the animals. 

Divers can be a part of research! Cool isn’t it?! I also felt an increased interest for the species after the talk – we protect what we love. 

I had a nice talk with people at the dive center and went for a short dive. I still have a lot to learn to become a proficient dry suit diver – but there is no better way than just putting the hours into it… So, I do. 

Overcoming Myself 

I used to be weak. In many ways I still am but I have put myself through many hard times and became stronger from it. We all have the ability to change our lives. We do not always own our circumstance but we own what we do with it. How we react and how we choose to perceive.

I sometimes wish that I was “normal” – choosing life,  a job, career, family…

I guess it didn’t choose me. I was young and dealing with problems I couldn’t handle, when I tried. Now I’m just happy to be alive. Well, we live and we learn and we move on.

I am proud to have choosen to see life as a big adventure. It keeps me on track through ups and downs. Seeking out things I think is hard and working on them until they feel less hard. The art of overcoming. Overcoming myself.

Whoever you are, whatever your “problem” – if I can do it so can you.

somefearthedarkness
Some fear the darkness – while others fear the light. I fear both.

Coming Home – Moving Forward

I’m trying to get settled living in Gothenburg. I got access to my flat as I returned from Lysekil after being homeless for six weeks. Been home now for three days and it feels odd. Maybe I will feel more grounded as I meet my friends a little. It still feels unreal being here down south.Up in Swedish Lapland right now it’s all ice, that time of the year when ice grows on everything making it beautiful as the ground cools down to enable the snow to start building up.

I noticed as I unpacked that I am one of those who have lots of pairs of shoes. And socks and gloves! All for different temperatures. A special setup for – 30C, and for more or less activity in temperature ranges above that.

I’ve gone directly from -35C to +35 for my trip in February for a few years now. I have gear for diving, running, hiking, skiing, swimming. Unpacking I realize most of my things have to do with either activities or travel. I get to see many temperature zones and I am uncertain which I’m in currently.

Yes, sure I’m very happy to sleep in my own bed after being away for more than a year, but I don’t need all this space. I don’t appreciate what I can buy at all in the same way as I appreciate what I can learn. I had photography and freediving on my to learn list for this year and it has given me much. Not that I’m a great freediver or photographer, but I have overcome the first step which usually is the hardest part.Every year I set goals and I will continue. I hope I never stop!

“Constantly moving forward means you are always leaving something behind”

I just got a new phone, it’s really like getting a new computer nowadays. I still haven’t installed and configured everything. But I like it
and my old was getting unreliable. I finally switched from my old “light in the tunnel” background to one of my “fairy tale editions”. Is this a new era? I used to need to be reminded there was a light in the tunnel and now I need to be inspired by the awesomeness of the north and the blue of the sea. What do you need? How do you remind yourself?!

Diveteam Lysekil – PADI Pro

 

hard-work-diveteam
Not only hard work

I finally took the step! The first step of being a professional in the dive business. I wanted to get the most out of a ten day intensive course. It wasn’t easy, but it was fun and I ended up being both a Divemaster and Assistant Instructor. I chose to  learn from Diveteam Lysekil – a highly accredited dive center here in Sweden. We were two students and a Course Director as main instructor. It’s a team spirit dive center with great owners and staff who also pitched in. Thank you all!

There are many requirements as we move on to taking care of other divers under water. It’s a responsibility and a completely new perspective on diving. “The way the world learns to dive”. Teaching and making diving safe, easy and fun!

I wasn’t used to the Swedish conditions, a bit of a struggle. Equipment, carrying loads of weight, adjusting buoyancy with two systems and low visibility under water. I learned to dive here but then I moved and have been doing mostly tropical diving which requires less from me as a diver. Since I never learned to dive in Sweden properly it was a wake up call. But I didn’t get cold feet! Or well, my drysuit was leaking through the neck seal…

Lysekil is a beautiful place, I could move here.

Our instructor had to push us to discomfort. Put some pressure on us and let us fail or learn – or fail and learn. I was at the center all day and then studied or prepared all night. Exhausting but still fun! As always a battle of the mind and the body – but anyone can do anything if they just put the hours in.

The first day of the course we (and others) attended a Seashepherd lecture that Diveteam had arranged. This day was also a yearly harbour cleanup event. Bringing up everything from an electric razor to a speaker, glass and cans… Pouring out little crabs and seastars and returning them to their home. Remember – as divers the ocean is our second home but it’s many creatures’ only home. We – humans – the planet – benefit greatly from the oceans – if you are hurting the oceans you are hurting yourself.

Sea Shepherd gave a talk about illegal whaling in the Antarctic and how plastic is polluting the oceans on a grand scale. Cleaning up beaches and harbours we see how much trash someone has thrown out.

Do your best to refuse reuse recycle reduce!

Trash travels and ends up on other places. Like in Arctic Norway where these pictures are from. It is a global issue and we can’t blame each other – the only way is cooperation.

“If you only going to use this plastic once – try to not use it!” (Wisdom from Sea Shepherd)

 

Gozo diving – below and beyond!

Since  I was sick in May when I last visited Gozo I decided to have a do over and get some more dives and actual relaxation in. You don’t return to work rested after having a serious infection and then catching a secondary infection on top of that. Coming back to a stressful at work was hard. The summer is always a tough time because employees go on vacation.  I decided to leave this company and go back to my old employer which seems like a good idea – and as I start on Monday I will have to adjust to a new work situation. This time I come home from Gozo I feel much more rested and ready to get to work.

Diving has been an adventure and I have  also been walking a lot I’ve seen some sights I hadn’t seen before on Gozo, but mostly I have just felt at home. It’s both good and bad. I don’t feel I’m on vacation,  but I do relax and understand much of how to get around and all such things that can be complicated in a new place.

I know many of the dive sites on Gozo, but I got to see some new ones this trip as well. The island has some very well known places to see and dive. Dwejra with the azur window and the blue hole is one of them. Shore diving takes some carrying around gear and climbing ladders. You go around the island depending on wind direction. The island is in the middle of the Mediterranean and with a few m/s the waves grow big on the effected side while the opposite side will be protected.

I hadn’t been to Xlendi Bay or Ramla Bay  before so I went there a day with northwestern wind which limits the dive sites. Walked from Marsalforn and one of the days I happened upon the Maltese independence days – apparently they have two. Being free from the Italians and from the British. Not all countries celebrate twice! Beer (local Cisk), music and dancing as always with celebrations.

Getting on the plane to Sweden in Frankfurt I realize that I don’t feel I’m one of them anymore. Maybe it’s just that Swedes in a airport can be very annoying? People struggling to get on the plane ethen though you still get the same seat. Talking about the lounges and trying to get recognition for flying businessclass for work. But maybe that is the highlight of their lives? Swedish are structured and efficient and goal oriented, it can be good but it sometimes creates a culture of bragging about all their accomplishments that I don’t like. Maybe it’s me who’s the strange one? I do love many of the Swedish ways but I could definitely go live in another country. I just have to have a financially viable alternative to doing what I do. To work and get to travel in between isn’t bad at all.

Also went to see a Unesco world heritage site on Gozo – Ggantija Temples. Older than the pyramids!

 

Went to work in Filipstad as soon as I got back from Gozo. A small community in southern Sweden, part of Värmland. The adventure continues. Turned out to be great to come back to work and help out wherever I’m needed. Visiting small communities. Working and experiencing things I don’t know…  Studied to my dive master course sitting outdoors in a nearby nature reserve.

On top of the world

Kiruna is a place like no other! Already autumn with yellow leaves and and and and in a few week the snow will be back again. One of my last days as a Kiruna resident I got up on the city mountain Loussavaara one of my last days as a Kiruna resident.  The beauty of Swedish Lapland will be missed. Living here for a year has led me to want to visit other arctic landscapes as well. Now my bucket list has doubled!

Already people have gotten great pictures of the northern lights, even though it isn’t very dark yet. But we gain 10min darkness per night now. Maybe later during the night but not when I was out. Still beautiful that it’s so colorful.