Arrival on Reethi Beach, Baa Atoll

It’s been two weeks now, since we have arrived at Reethi Beach in Baa Atoll/Maldives, and to cut a long thing short: It’s been pretty busy ever since, not so much the dive centre, but rather our minds been twisting. Twisting of all the new rules and the organisational structure, new names of about 15 team members and not less than 64 dive sites. But I saved the worst for last: Sinusitis!
Yepp, you’ve heard correctly, we’re both suffering from sinusitis, every dive instructor’s worst nightmare. Painful, sleepless nights and colourful handkerchiefs during the day; no single rainbow will ever match this colour palette from sparkling transparent, over earthy yellow all the way to lush greens and bright reds. Modern artists envy the seemingly endless supply of curved shapes and shiny bubbles. So, you see, we still enjoy corals, only these are made of snot.
Fun aside, as a newly arrived instructor who’s meant to actually get to know his new employer’s dive sites – where he’s supposed to be teaching his future students, one day – such a localised cold is a worst case scenario.

Anyhow, lucky as we’ve been during all those last months, our new employer is fully aware of our situation and doesn’t force us to do anything stupid. The opposite is true: understanding and the chance to learn other things in the mean time such as check-in and -out procedures, equipment maintenance, local course specialities and the like. For example:
Trial dives, fish feeding, single, double and triple tanks, snorkel excursions, orientation dives, tank refilling patterns, dry-room organisation, dive sign-up procedures and you think of anything you like more.

So, lots to learn but a great bunch of colleagues to teach us. Their names are somewhat unusual to our ears and thus sometimes difficult to remember, but their friendliness and helpfulness is out of question. Abdul, Illy, Ahusan, Mufeed, Tom, Adam, Sayo, Ingo, Kindha, Achim, Shifa and loads more that I have forgotten now, because of my poor name memory. One however, I will certainly not forget: Robert, our super great boss. Smiley, super fair and correct, and totally understandable when he explains how he wants things to be done, which you might imagine, is awfully important for our future career with him.

One of the most remarkable events was probably Abdul’s way to teach us the check in procedure: Role playing. It went pretty much like this:

“Hello, my name is Abdul and I have booked 6 days of unlimited diving. I want to go boat diving, when can I start?!”
“Aaaalright, let’s see: How many dives do you already have?”
“Riiight. And do you have your own equipment?”
“I have my own computer. It’s a D6 you see, with metal bracelet!”
“And what about the rest?”
“No. I want to rent it.”
“Right, fair enough. But honestly, I don’t think a dive from the boat would be the best thing to do first. We usually…”
“NOOO, I want to go diving from the boat straight away. It’s in my unlimited diving package!”
“Naaaa-nooo, not exactly. Your dives are covered, but there are fees for the boat, there are laws and regulations by the Maldivian government: orientation dive, 30m depth limit… beside the fact that we do not wish to kill you 😉
etc. etc.

In the end we got an idea of how to check in pretty much any type of guest. And yes, these type of people really do exist. No joke!
At the moment we’re almost healthy and are already diving diving again, but this is to be told in our next blog entry.