Nerdy Cat Scuba Travels

A Cat Lovin' Engineer taking a career break by traveling, doing a divemaster internship, and diving around the world

Tag: Kleifervatn

Leading a Tour Group – nobody puts baby in the back

kleifervatn scuba 3This week has been a whole lot of diving. I went to Kleifarvatn again and had my first free flowing regulator problem, followed by a diver requiring to manual inflate his BCD and use my alternate air source.

Here’s what happened: The winds created a pretty strong current at the dive site. Patrik chose to swim diagonally past the exit point so that we could drift back to the shore. We were almost there when one diver floated to the top, then her husband went up to check on her. I came up as well to  make sure everything was ok.

At the surface his regulator started to free flow. I tried to turn it down and stop it, but was unsuccessful. The diver started to manually inflate his BCD. I came behind him and told him i was going to turn off his tank and turn it back on. Once back on, the pressure was almost NIL. I gave him my alternate air source while he leaned back to fight the waves and rest.

Patrik was with the other diver and then we all did a surface swim/ drift back to shore. Later I double checked with Patrik that I did everything correctly.

The good news is that everyone was safe and happy and I got to practice helping someone in distress solo.

The geothermal activity at Kleifervatn was above average. The visibility was also in our favor despite the wind.

The next day, I led our dive group (did the dive briefing and took photos).  There were minor problems for each dive…. preventing a diver from rapid ascent, loose weight belt, and a cranky dry suit hose, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

It’s finally happening! I’m finally becoming confident. I’m feel like I can help people. I’m less nervous and I’ve actually started enjoying the environment. I feel like a little caterpillar coming out of cocoon.  Where are my butterfly wings?

Now, if I can only get Patrik to come over and lift me like Patrick Swayze/ Jennifer Grey and dance  to “The Time of my Life” the scuba divemaster movie would be complete.

Customer Dive of the Day: My Experience at Kleifarvatn Geothermal tour

Kleifervatn collage

Yesterday sent me on a customer guided tour of Kleifarvatn. Kleifarvatn is the largest fresh water lake in the Reykjavik Pennisula region. The big draw here is the geothermal activity. While diving you can see thermoclines, bubbles coming from the ground, smell and see sulfur deposits and hear the “fizziness.”

The dive site required about a 100-200m walk on the rocks before swimming another 100m to the active geothermal zone. The good news was that Patrik carried everyone’s tank to the dive site- which really saved me from exhaustion. Dive.Is likes to have every new employee, divemaster candidate, or Instructor Development Course (IDC) candidiate have a “customer tour” before they start working. The purpose is to show the newbie how a tour should feel like, and give you the customer perspective. Since I actually paid for a silfra dive last year during my holiday in Iceland, I was given the option to dive here instead.  It’s sooooooo nice not to carry or assemble any gear. Just jump right in! Nothing to worry about here. What a treat. This place made me feel like I was on a movie set. No one around.  We could be expecting Matt Damon to pop out of nowhere with his Martian outfit on.

I felt a little more relaxed in the open atmosphere compared to the silfra night dive. There were just a couple of times where I struggled with my fin and then lost track of my buoyancy.  But I’m here to learn, right? I can’t start the program perfect. (Although I really wish I would be better)

Once the dive was over, this tour also included a trip to Seltun.  The area is a small hike around geothermal hill where temperatures beneath the surface reach 200°C. It reminded me of the Hells gate geothermal spa in New Zealand. Unlike NZ, this place is free.  Hells gate charges $35 NZD just to tour the area. On top of that, you have to pay more for the spa area.    A big bonus over Hells gate is that you can hike up a hill and get really close to all the mud and steaming holes. I suppose if you really want to get that mud, you could dig into at the top and camouflage yourself. I decided to just stay dry and as I was. At the top of the hills we saw a grand view of the different lakes around the area.

This was my favorite part of the day.

Lessons Learned:

For Scuba people: Choose a divemaster program where you get to dive interesting spots!

For Tourists: Come to Iceland, its got Seltun for FREE!