The final practical skills of all the possible rescue scenarios were tested out at sea, which resulted in passing the course. Finally, it's over. It's been physically exhausting course, no thanks to the enthusiastic fake victims (we love you guys), but enjoyable and we'd recommend it (especially for bargain course prices Utila offers). UDC is a little 'get them in, get them out' and we were initially annoyed at the change of duration of the course, but it's organised, professional, and the rental equipment is good if you don't have your own gear (plus it's included in the price).
Exhausted, we got the afternoon ferry back to La Ceiba at 2pm, picked up the van and headed to Tela and blagged a secure parking patch for the night in Hotel Ville Telamar because we had a 'reservation'. Works every time ;-).
A 7:30am start meant we boxed off two 'fun dives' by 10am, then we spent the rest of the day out at sea, re-capping on all the skills we had learnt. We also found out PADI approved our First Aid Level 2, so we didn't have to do the top-up, relieving us of $160. Finally, saving money :-).
The dives were okay. It's not whale season, so there wasn't going to be much chance of seeing whale sharks anyway and there's less marine life in Utila than its island neighbours. The coral formations were beautiful though and the weather provided perfect conditions, unlike some of our travel friends who were stuck last week in the 5 day storm here, with no boat departures/arrivals. That's a word of warning if you're travelling in the coast's wet season.
We spent the night chatting about doing 'Aqua Poos' (it really is what you think it is) with people we met in Sambo Creek. You had to be there...
Gwyn recovered after his sleep and we were back in the UDC doing a similar timetable to yesterday - we spent the morning going through chapters 4-5 in the classroom and then demonstrating our skills off the dock.
We also did our final theory exam and Gwyn beat me by one tiny point. I let him have the glory for once.
Today on the course consisted of going through the first 3 chapters of theory and then putting it all into practice off the dive centre's dock. It was physically draining, but we all had a good laugh with rescuing each other. This centre is strict on the 'no peeing in the wetsuits' rule, even threatening a 'penalty' (on what method do they collect evidence?!). You haven't got your monies worth until you've marked your territory, so of course, everyone choose to ignore that. Happy wetsuit renting all.
We went for a few drinks later and to the greasy spoon Big Mamas. At best, the food is aright. Unfortunately, we never got to blow all our Lempiras on Tequila Tuesday as Gwyn was suffering from man-flu.