The waves were crashing into the boat from all sides. Walls of water 15 feet (5 meters) high battered our craft like a child’s toy. Candidates held on to the sides for dear life, crossing themselves and praying for deliverance. Meanwhile in Punta Cana, we were getting ready to head out for some Open Water evaluation training. We kitted up (that’s European for putting together our gear) on the beach next to the resort’s dive shop. Alan started the day by imparting some thoughts on control. Think about it, when students do skills, they are usually on a sandy bottom or a platform with the instructor right in front of them. What about when touring or ascents or descents? This is when problems can occur.
When then loaded on to a few boats to head into the open seas. There is a reef about ½ mile (750 meters) out in front of the beach. Our boats headed south for a bit before we came through a break in the reef into the open ocean. For the record, it was a bit choppy. We divided into 3 large groups (2 teams per group) to observe and practice evaluating some sample open water skills. Getting back on the boats was a bit tricky including when a regulator slipped between boats and got smashed. Once we got back to the dive shop, we debriefed in the shade of the dive shop. Have I mentioned that I love my job? As I looked around, I took in my surroundings, thatched roof, sandy floor, sun/sand/surf. I’m working, I swear. Why don’t you believe me?
The afternoon started with a quick presentation on the Instructor Development Department at PADI and who we call at the various offices worldwide if we need some assistance. Basically don’t start with Drew Richardson and work down. We then broke into our teams to hear IDC classroom presentations. Needless to say, we rocked it!!
But I’m not here to talk about all this. What I really want to talk about is pasta. Specifically lasagna. I am not a gourmet chef but I do fancy that I can cook. At the very least I can follow a damn recipe. However, it has been brought to my attention by my team that you do not boil lasagna noodles before you bake them. I have been cruelly reminded of this during my own teaching presentation and been made the object of ridicule during others’ presentations. My defense is-I don’t boil them until they are cooked, merely al dente. Is this not proper? I haven’t had any complaints yet. Are my guests merely being polite?