Day 60: Utila

Utila Travel Blog

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the view from the BICD rooftop bar

Once again we did two dives. The first dive was part of the course, but the second dive was our first dive as certified divers.

In the afternoon I did my theory exam and passed cum laude! I had scored 100% on the entire course (4 tests and an exam) - I don't think I have ever had such a good result on any study ever.

At night we celebrated our graduation in the bar of the dive school. OK, we had been sitting here every evening for the past three days, but because diving and drinking isn't the best of combinations, we never drank more than a couple of beers and always had to go back to studying after that.

So tonight was a true celebration. In a local supermarket I had found handmade cigars, of which I had bought a couple as “graduation smokers”.

celebrating my graduation with Ken and Zoe
These cigars had cost an astronomical 5.8 cents a piece, and were surprisingly good.

Ken had told me that the next day he would start with an advanced dive course, but he had decided to go to a different dive school. Not that he was unsatisfied with the Bay Island College, on the contrary, but money had been an issue and the other school saved him 40 bucks and had thrown in 2 free dives as well.

I had planned to do just two fun dives tomorrow, and fly back to the mainland on Monday. However, it did not take long for Ken to convince me to stay and do the advanced course with him. After all, I had arrived here two days ahead of schedule, so I could afford staying a few days longer (not to mention the fact that I absolutely loved this place).

Zoe, our instructor, fully agreed with us doing an advanced course.

the view from the BICD rooftop bar
She said “we have been lobbying for a combined course for years, because most people leave this place just when they are about to get a little experienced, and then most of them don't dive for another year or longer”.

As it turned out I myself fall in that category, since Utila I have dived less than once a year, for the simple reason that there isn't a whole lot of diving going on in Holland.

Zoe was somewhat less happy with Ken's decision to go to a different diving school, but she understood our reasoning. A few drinks later she admitted she probably would have done the same thing in our situation. We were happy to have had her as an instructor. We both felt very comfortable and secure underwater - not something all beginners can claim - and we figured that we would survive a second course, which aims on perfecting skills as well as an introduction to the other PADI courses available, even if our new instructor would turn out to be a teenieweenie less good than Zoe. And besides, we figured it could perhaps be a good thing too, to experience different organisations.

Anyway, if we were to go diving early tomorrow morning, then we'd better stop drinking now and head to bed instead. Actually this whole diving thing is not much fun at all. You're on a Caribbean island and all you do at night is study!

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the view from the BICD rooftop bar
the view from the BICD rooftop bar
celebrating my graduation with Ken…
celebrating my graduation with Ke…
the view from the BICD rooftop bar
the view from the BICD rooftop bar
the view from the BICD rooftop bar
the view from the BICD rooftop bar
photo by: Yoshu