It has been quite a various two weeks. My last 2 days in Athens were pretty quiet I explored the city a little by foot got my ticket for the ferry to crete, but mostly chilled out a lot. It really is a giant city and very busy but there are still some nice and quiet places to be found.


The ferry to Heraklion (Crete) was actually pretty nice, although it was a bit busy I found a nice place to sit, watched a movie until it was getting a bit more quiet and eventually laid down on the floor between the table I was sitting at and the wall behind it and actually had a pretty good nights rest ^^

At 6 am someone from the ferry woke me up and told me the ferry is about to arrive so I gathered myself and my stuff and followed the mass of people down and to my bike to load everything up again. Since my couchsurfing host was not yet awake and we agreed on meeting around 9am I walked around a bit, exploring the area around the port and meeting spot.

After meeting with my host there and relaxing a bit I had to get back to the port again to meet up with a helpX host who are running a scuba dive center at which I really wanted to help out and work on my scuba dive skills and who knows maybe get another certificate or two. Me and a couple that was thinking the same as me were brought to the dive center where we got a tour of the school and the apartments and got some explanation about the work we would be doing there and after we had a relaxing time chilling on the beach before being brought back to Heraklion.

On my second day in Heraklion (Saturday 2-7-2016) I was to meet with another CS host who was unable to host me but wanted to give me a tour of her favorite places in the city which was really fun and relaxing. After the tour I went back to the house of my host to finally finish up editing a video and when my host (Dionyshs) came back we went for a nice evening walk around the city center where a lot of street performances were held, really cool and interesting to see.

Sunday morning, time to head to the dive center …… :D it was only a short 20km and thank many holy things that here in Greece most of the climbs aren’t very steep, at least the ones I’ve encountered so far :P so I arrived at the center pretty early on but they didn’t have much to do for me yet, so when I got settled I cleaned out my room a bit, which was left quite messy by the previous occupant.

scuba center view

The next morning I had to get up a bit early to get some explanation about all the things we need to do every morning to open the shop and get it ready, which is mostly a lot of cleaning and tidying up. I right away got a chance to get into the water for 2 dives which was really cool and fun after 5 years not having done it although I had some issues with equalizing my ear I still enjoyed it very much. I was very lucky to start on a pretty quiet day which we also finished pretty early, leaving us plenty of time to head to a big supermarket in Heraklion to buy some food etc for the coming week or so.

Tuesday I decided it would be better not to do any dives, since my ears were not feeling very well, everything sounded as if I was wearing earplugs, so that’s a sight to better not dive and put pressure on it again…… so instead I helped at the center getting gear ready and cleaning it after the customers dives were over I’m also asked if I could help with building a new website for the center which I happily accepted. After the workday was over I went to the beach for some well-deserved relaxing after a long day of moving around all the heavy gear.

The following day after opening/ cleaning the shop and getting the needed gear out and ready, I went with two “colleagues” to a big tourist resort to give a scuba demonstration in the pool, unfortunately the people were not very interested, but in the end we did get a group of 3 to try it and sign up for a Discovery dive at the dive center, which I joined since my ears were feeling fine again and this time I had no issues with my ears at all :D. The group of 3 were also very enthusiastic and satisfied with the dive which was really fun to hear.

And then……. Murphy’s day……uffff this guy and his stupid law……. There was a pretty big group for a Discovery dive this Thursday which started pretty normal opening the shop, getting gear ready and cleaning the cars. Then we found out that there was no more water (strike 1) except for just half of a small cleaning barrel which we would have to use to clean all the gear that day….. other than that…. No water.

Strike 2 we found out about when another helpX-er had to run an errand with one of the cars and discovered that somebody had locked the car with the keys inside it…… which made it so that there weren’t enough cars left since the others ones were needed to pick up and return the customers…... but at least they were able to do that.

With the customers at the center a big group of about 8 people the craziness began, it was a very hectic day from that moment on and many of us were running around getting everything in order so they could finally get in the water and begin their dive, getting the customers dressed, geared up, change gear due to wrong sizes, changing them back because the other one was more comfortable after all informing them about all the gear etc etc etc etc…….. but they finally all went into the water and because it was such a big group the whole crew had to come with them, leaving me alone to take care of the center.

scuba big group pre dive instructions

And then ……. Murphy strikes a 3rd time……. :/ ( a big one). Since I was left alone to take care of the center and pretty much had no idea what to do really since it was only my 4th or so day there and wasn’t told much about running it I was a bit uncomfortable about the whole thing……. And it didn’t help that at this moment the phone was ringing like crazy (almost a call every 5 or 10 minutes) which hasn’t happened since I arrived, lots of questions of which I had no idea how to answer, so instead I just wrote down the messages so to call back, to some callers disappointment….. :/ then also a couple came by to rent the peddle boat, but since I had no idea about the price per time etc I asked them to wait max. 30min for the owner to get back, but they didn’t want that…. Of course….

Then the challenge to get the thing into the water….. it’s really quite heavy and the 3 of us could hardly lift it, so again I asked them to wait, but again they didn’t want to and asked a passer by to help and with the 4 of us it was finally in the water and they were off……..

After about 15 or so minutes I finally saw the diver buoy of the group coming back towards the beach which was quite a relief for me, so I wouldn’t have to take care of things on my own…….. but then right behind the, I saw the peddle boat in a very strange position and the couple swimming behind it…… it couldn’t be sinking could it …… pushing it right over the divers ( which I expressly told them to be very careful about not to go over). Quickly followed by a very angry owner screaming and shouting why the broken Peddle boat was in the water …… (fyi I had no idea it was broken, since I saw some people using it about 3-4 days earlier) strike number 3 :/

Of course I got all the blame and a lot of scolding which to some degree I completely understand… but it would have been nice, and completely avoidable if someone had just told me that the thing was broken, but of course the owner didn’t want to hear that…… however after he finally cooled down after an hour or more of yelling and scolding he apologized for his strong reactions towards me and agreed that he should have told me it was broken and let me join the second DSD (Discovery ScubaDive) group, I think it was because it was much safer for me to be in the water, before I would cause more damage somewhere else :P

It was good to be underwater after all that chaos and really helped cool me down after all the craziness with the peddle boat etc…… After the dive it was quickly time to clean up the shop close it up and call it a day…… finally !

Friday morning I woke up after a very bad night, I couldn’t sleep well and because of that was in a pretty lousy mood, it also didn’t help that I was still in the doghouse due to the peddle boat fiasco, which made the whole atmosphere at the center pretty uncomfortable for me, yes I know I messed up pretty bad but come on…. I’m just a volunteer and it’s only my 5th day here…… and so I was getting less and less enthusiastic about being there and began making some back-up plans in case things didn’t get better soon.

Saturday (9-7-2016) started like all the others…. And I must say it’s starting to get a little boring, cleaning getting the gear, helping the customers get ready and (if lucky) join them in the water for the same dive round I’ve now done about 6 times…… at least I was able to practice my buoyancy control and refresh 2 open water course chapters, but other than that it was feeling like….. same shit different day……

A feeling which I still had the next day…… it really is quite a monotonous job I’m starting to realize, it’s not yet so far that I’m actually bored since I’m too busy for that, but I’m not really enjoying it anymore either the days are long 8.30 to usually 18.30 doing lots of heavy lifting and so far no free day in sight…… I didn’t even work this much or hard at my full time job (which actually did pay). The people are very nice though but as you can probably tell I’m getting a bit skeptic about staying here….. I’ll see/ hope it changes the coming week, if not…… I’ll be going back on the road again ^^

scuba dancing drunk neighbor1

However what actually was really fun this day, was when I got back to my apartment after work I was invited by the neighbors to join their family get-together and immediately got filled up with Raki, but was able to quickly switch to their home made wine….. which was not nearly as bad as the Raki….. not good either though :p but it was very fun even more so when the rest of the helpX crew joined in too.

 

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