It's finally done. After 6 weeks of diving, 8 exams on Equipment, Physiology, Physics and more; stamina tests like a 400m swim, 800m snorkel and a rescue scenario; practical tests such as assistance on DSD, Open Water, Advanced and Rescue courses; leading qualified divers in open water. I enjoyed studying for the exams, and found them disappointingly easy. I'd been having mild panic attacks about them, re-reading the dive manuals and encyclopedia I'd been given. So much to learn. The exams are just 20 multiple-choice questions, and if anything I'd over-studied. It made it feel less of an achievement, if I'm honest: a monkey could have done this course. Provided you could find a wetsuit with long enough arms.
But it's one of 3 objectives I set myself completed. The other two being to find somewhere else to live and have babies with an Argentinian model. Two out of three wouldn't be bad. At least now I can work my way around the world. The money won't buy me a one-bedroom flat in Hackney (not even Leytonstone) but if it extends time away from the grind in London, that will do for me. It pays for roof, food and beer...I could handle a couple of years living like this.
So what next? Well...a year of diving experience. Maybe South America, maybe back in Coron...we'll see. 2-300 dives under my belt and then it'll be time to head for somewhere like Honduras to do the Instructor course. Free diving course for Our Kid and Lewis (my nephew) soon after. Friends in deep places, eh?