We’d love to introduce you to Rada! She is our new intern, and among other things, she is going to be posting on our blog. Help us in welcoming Rada to the Blue Angel team!
I wake up and rush out the door with my rollerblades strapped on tight early in the morning. The first challenge is to dodge my doggy and leave him behind the gate before he sprints out; he is always ready for a race. His name is Pollo (which means chicken in Spanish) and holds numerous medals for fastest dog. From the center it takes me an exact 10 minutes to Blue Angel. There is a long part along the malecon before I reach the shop where I take my first glimpse of the ocean directly to my right and ride on the smooth paved road. With a good track on my mp3 player each time I catch myself with the biggest smile and fussy things inside because everything fits in my new home. Picking up more speed, it almost feels like I’m flying. Which is the exact feeling I get diving here in Cozumel: it’s a combination of the current, beautiful life and the last 9 months all about scuba. It’s been a long journey from my first dive in Costa Rica and having learned so much since then, I feel like a confident dive master (well, almost). I’ve made all the mistakes which I won’t repeat like not opening your tank all the way before jumping in. I stay calm, and try to understand other divers and how I can help. I still have a few things I need to work on which Matthew will help me with so I can finally finish my DM (I did most of it in Utila before coming here but got a case of estafilococos (basically a nasty infection that kept me out of the water). I am Rada and I will be posting on here for the next few months, as Matthew put it, an Intern With A Sunburn. Here is a little video I made about me.
My first week at Blue Angel has been a dream. It’s exactly the kind of shop I had imagined. Sometimes it was discouraging and I wasn’t even sure about my decision of quitting my PhD in environmental politics to pursue diving full time. Three months traveling Central America we stopped in lots of different dive shops but only this one feels like home. My first dive with the team was as easy as going to the park (with a beautiful garden), at Palancar Gardens—quite popular site due to the amazing corals. I went with Andres and a couple doing an Open Water referral so it was their first time seeing the ocean from below. I like assisting courses because each instructor has their way of doing things. I am not rushing to become an instructor, because there is still much to learn as a DM and I want to develop my camera skills, in and out of the water. I had the chance this week to hang out with Blue Angel’s first IDC group—the four of them finished Friday and have been celebrating since then. I have always heard that it’s an intense course but now I saw it (or didn’t since they spent many hours in the classroom). I jumped a couple times for shore dive exercises with them. I was actually surprised by the things you can see right in front of the shop. While at the surface, Kale (the previous blogger/DM/and now instructor) said “hey guys, there is an Eagle Ray right below us.” Even with the distraction, the guys and gal did a fine job. The skills I feared in my DM they not only had to demonstrate but also correct the other candidates who were playing, on Matthew’s account, difficult students and making typical mistakes. Here is one of the guys removing equipment off and putting it back on—it’s an important skill to have!
It is carnival time in Cozumel!
Meet Pollo with three precious girls.
After weeks of talk and preparation it’s finally here. Many roads are closed for the parade and local businesses are decorated with feathers and beads. Last night we had a little dress up party with friends visiting from Spain. It’s great to see the island full of life and people. The plaza is buzzing with attractions and local treats. Pollo, as usual, was a big hit in town with fans able to speak in only sounds “Awwwwwwwwwwww.” They still haven’t chosen a King and Queen; we are just warming up, the days to come, especially Fat Tuesday should be the big explosion and I’ll have lots to share…
Look for more from Rada in the coming months. Welcome!