Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Utila (30.08.2013 - 19.10.2013)

Melanie and I had thought about doing the divemaster training (DMT) for a while now. As our divemasters/instructors in Mexico told us about Utila, one of the cheapest places on earth to do the DMT, we decided to check it out.
Both of them, Nathan and P-O, recommended Underwater Vision to us, so thats were we headed first and got stuck ;)
During the training we were treated as part of the team, helping and assisting the instructors. We had to perform certain workshops, trainings, skills and exams. Most of it was done assisting on Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Rescue Courses. Also if there was free space on the boat we could just go fun diving! ^^ All in all, including the time we assisted, we did ♂ 55 / ♀43 dives. Including a couple night dives! =)
The first three weeks of accommodation were included afterwards we moved to a little flat right next to the dive shop. Having a kitchen again was great, we could cook some decent meals and save a bit of money. The army guys staying below us were a bit scary though, waving their assault rifles around before they would go on patrol on their golf cart. And of course we had some crazy neighbours, Cas & Cam ;)
Our daily routine would depend if we would go out with the morning or afternoon boat. Morning boat meant helping loading the tanks and setting up the gear at 6:15 (THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGTH!) So mostly not much party on the night before. The afternoon boat would leave around 12:30, loading meant being there half an hour earlier. Of course this is still a 3rd world country, a power cut usually delayed the filling of the tanks and therefore the boat ;)
Internet was unusable at our home and not much better at the dive shop. Which made us regular customer at Rio Coco, a coffee shop with the best internet connection on the island! =)
Nightlife would usually evolve around the same places and bars. Tequila tuesday would lure all to Tranquilla Bar (why?!). If we had a group of students getting certified we headed mostly to Skid Row Bar to do the Guifitiy Challenge. For which you had to drink 4 shots of cheap rum which was spiced with all kinds of "healthy" herbs. After the first 3 shots you had to take off your shirt, do 20 spins in the street in front of the bar (luckily there is next to no traffic ^^), drink the last shot, do some laps around the pool table and then choose one of the singlets. Other classics on the island were Rehab Bar or Treetanic.

As Utila is part of the Bay Islands, where the inhabitants descend from english pirates, woodcutters and slaves the main language is english, of some sorts. Which took quite a toll on our spanish =(