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Status Report

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Här kommer ytterligare en av mina tidigare Läges Rapporter. Berättelsen kommer från en tur förra vintern. Speciellt kul tycker jag att Rafael är.

Mycket nöje!


Status Report Egypt 6.2

My Rosetta turned the bow to the sea again and I was sitting on the sundeck thinking that I could have had use for more than a day in between the trips. I had left Marsa Alam around 1:30pm so arriving in Hurghada later the same evening there was no use in wasting time. Go directly to Papa’s. There I got together with Henrik and a few other people in a desperate attempt to kind of socialize. You definitely need to spend some time with people who are neither guests on your boat nor co-workers. I often think of the dive industry in general and Hurghada in particular, as an “upgrading facility for nuclear family waste”. Maybe it’s the only place where we, the people who does not fit into the norm of normal society can and find a space where we don’t have to be the outsiders and even be useful. For this to work there has to be others of the same kind to hang out with. The dive industry provides that, a world within the world, a society outside society that accepts the outcasts.

I knew that I’d have the chance to sleep in the morning so there was no panic to get to bed early. But you know how it is when you finally get a sleep in morning… I woke up at 7am and could not get back to sleep to save my life. I got up and since I had some stuff to do I got started right away.

Hisham had called me the night before and told me that he’d be picking me up at 6pm so I calculated that we would be in Marsa Alam around 9pm. I then entered that information into the part of my brain that’s converting and adjusting to Egyptian reality and concluded that it was more likely to be: Picked up at 6:30pm and arrive in Marsa Alam around 9:30. At 9:30 we had not yet left Hurghada. That’s actually about the time Hisham decided that getting the car washed before getting out on a 3 hour drive through the dusty desert would be a good idea. Now we could finally get on our way into the arid region. Luckily I was alone in the back seat so I could stretch out and sleep. As sure as last time was a track record this time was not. We stopped at every little village on our way to pick up this or leave that or to just stop for God knows what reason. Though I was still comfortably spread out in the rear I started to feel like I could have taken a taxi on my own just to be sleeping in my cabin on Rosetta already. Finally we drove into the port area around 2am. The guests were already vast asleep so without further postponement I hit the sack to get a few hours of rest.

So, there I’m sitting on the sundeck looking at the sea trying to figure out what to do about my sinus infection that keeps bugging me and make my ascends scrutinizing painful. I’ve made three dives on this first day of the safari whereof one being a night dive and I can not remember that I’ve ever been in such pain before. This including the time I broke my collarbone, the time I stepped on a nail and got my foot penetrated right through and the time I busted my eardrum during a stupid apnea attempt in Greece. It’s not only that I’m supposed to dive when I work. I also miss two out of three dives on Little Brother Island. This is annoying as it’s the dives I’ve been dreaming of since I first got to Egypt. Well… Gray reef sharks, Silky sharks and a Hammer head shark on the first, and for me only dive has to count as a good day on any report…

Next day we dive Big Brother Island. There are two wrecks on the north tip of Big Brother; The Aïda and Numidia. Of course I’m still not fit for diving in the morning so I miss also the dive on Aïda. I do get in the water for the second dive. The wreck of Numidia but as my head is about to explode on the way up I decide that it has to be dry duty for me for the rest of the safari. When I get back to Hurghada I’ll get an appointment with a specialist doctor to get some proper treatment. This can’t go on. Bearing in mind that I’ll make the same trip the week after next, there’ll be an opportunity for me to dive those sites then. However, I need to learn the dive sites if I’m going to lead the dives on them in the future. Hisham doesn’t seem too much concerned about that but to me, being a dedicated perfectionist, it feels like I’m not doing my job properly. Also it’s boring to sit on the boat waiting… On the same token; I’m used to accept and deal with boring situations, hence I take the opportunity to write this Status Report during those unwelcome breaks.

The weather conditions won’t allow us to go to Deadalus Reef. Instead we head towards Elphinstone for our forth day. Obviously we (the staff) know that the guests will be happy with the dives there since it’s an extraordinary dive site with corals in extremely good condition and sharks to meet any requirement. Although, as long as the dive magazines back in Europe keep writing about the diving in the deep south of the Egyptian Red Sea, people will come here with their minds set on a certain route they’ve red about. Then it might be hard to convince them that this is a better option. Still, if you’ve got the gift of making people believe that it’s actually their idea and their decision… then you’re home safe… Present and plant the right facts that can only lead to one suggestion and that’s the suggestion that’ll come up.
“Ok, so you’d rather go to Elphinstone? No problem! If that’s what you want, then that’s what you’ll get”.
Badabim badaboom… Bob’s your auntie… Everybody’s happy!
I’ve already been up for a while when we moor up to Elphinstone around 6am. I’ve had my coffee, made the map for the briefing and knocked on the cabin doors to wake the guests up. Everybody is sitting on the upstairs sundeck and the sun is quickly mounting the slight overcast of the early morning. An Oceanic White Tipped Shark comes cruising around the boat, then one more, and another one. All three of them comes up close to Rosetta as to say “Good morning and welcome to Elphinstone. We’ll make sure you’ll have a pleasant dive.” And I know that I’m not going to get into the water because of a stupid sinus infection.

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who can dive and those who can not dive. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with certification. One of our guests is Rafael. He belongs to the latter category. On land he’s as sweet as can be. In the water this guy is a nightmare! First of all he’s got absolutely no buoyancy control. He weighs around 110 kg (a wild but respectful guess) and measures around 170cm tall, the type of person that’s easier to climb over than to run around. He’s wearing 14 kg of led and a 3mm full suit. He can’t get off the surface but he can’t stay up. When he deflates his BCD (and finally stops fining up) he shoots to the bottom, back first, and crash-lands like JAS 39 Gripen, then he’s rolling around on the corals like caterpillar. When he finally finds his inflator he inflates and rockets back to the surface. All this he manages to do during the first few minutes of the check-dive the first day. Second dive is similar even though both I and Hisham had a talk with him and his buddy about weights, buoyancy and preserving the marine life. Result: Rafael is not diving, at least not on the walls where we don’t have bottom on a lifesaving depth. Most of the dive sites on this trip you end up on near to 1.000 meters if you persist to go all the way to the bottom. We take him for a dive a day; one-on-one-style on merely DSD-level just to give him the chance to see some of the Red Sea Wonders but it’s an ordeal bordering unfeasible proportions. Rafael is a CMAS*** diver with 160 dives under his belt. Knowing that, you don’t really expect any problems from him. Maybe with the exception that he might want to go a bit too deep. However, Rafael is like a big Teddy bear, the nicest person you’re ever likely to meet and he’s totally ok with our decision not to let him dive the more challenging dives. I would like to meet the instructor who certified Rafael as a CMAS***, even as a CMAS* actually. I often hear from CMAS divers how PADI is an organisation that spews out crap divers that are dangerous for themselves and others. Well… Yeah… What ever… On top of all this Rafael managed to fall down the stairs on his way to his cabin, bang his head in a doorpost so bad that he almost passed out plus getting a stomach infection so bad the last day that we had to go back to shore before we had a chance to make the last dive to get him to the hospital. For a while I was convinced that unfortunate Rafael had boarded My Rosetta to die. Well, he survived but I think it’s safe to say that this was not Rafael Cordoba Almela’s week. Even when he wanted to buy some T-shirts as presents for his kids we didn’t have them in the right sizes… I almost started crying! One good thing happened to him during this eventful holiday. The topic of Champions League came up and different guests supporting different teams were debating which team was the best and all the usual football crap. Rafael was sitting silent and calm for a while and then he went to change his T-shirt… Coming back with “Real Madrid – 29 Victories” all over his impressing wide chest and a big smile all over his equally impressing wide face. The saloon went quiet. Then, Rafael was my hero.

All in all we’ve had a wonderful week and a rather dramatic last surface interval. When I get back to Hurghada I’ll go to a specialist doctor to get my sinuses taken out and replaced with brand spanking new oil-filled-titanium-computer-guided-artificial-ones…

Anders Samaka

Anders Jälmsjö
Anders Jälmsjö 2007-11-10 10:44:09
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Huvudinlägg Status Report Anders Jälmsjö 2007-11-10 10:44
svara Sv: Status ReportLinda Normark2007-11-10 12:53
svara Sv: Sv: Status ReportAnders Jälmsjö2007-11-10 13:28
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Status ReportFredrik Svärd2007-11-11 18:14
svara *LER*Jonas Stellemark2007-11-11 20:18


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