Sadly, there comes a time when all good things must end. Hitting the Divemaster milestone this week were six lucky folks, some of whom are leaving the island to go home (sob), and others who are starting their IDC (instructor training course) on the twelfth.
So from left to right, we have our beautiful Gillykins in the pigtails. As you have probably gleaned from her cropping up in 99% of my stories, we are as thick as thieves (though not as thick as two short planks – she is an inspiring young lady with a list of credentials as long as my arm, and buckets of oomph. She’s gonna go places). Even simply writing this post is making me tear up. I don’t want to gush, but meeting Gill has absolutely made my trip in each and every way, and thanks to this girl I have an abundance of hilarious memories to take home with me and treasure forever. I’m still holding out for a collection of stories illustrating her magical childhood growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe – it has literary success written all over it.
Sporting the particularly fetching frilly hat is Hannah, who was lucky enough to have her birthday on the same day as her snorkel test. Serendipity? I think so. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate their special day covered in flour, egg and God knows what else?! Poor cherub! But kudos to Mike, he baked her a wonderful chocolate cake that we all got to enjoy.
And now for the boys! We have the myterious James, notoriously late for every boat, more often than not due to the shortcomings of his beloved (crappy) moped, Daisy. Sitting proudly in a lady’s dress to his right is Seb, who was irked by the considerable number of people who complimented him on his ability to pull off said dress. One diamond overheard during the night was ‘Some women would kill to have those curves!’. Note that it was his wallet stuffed in the chest area, people.
Sam and Joe, aka dumb and dumber, were lazy enough to arrive in identical outfits. This was not a case of great minds thinking alike, as their forfeit was to have three Changs strapped to their hands, not two, during one of the challenges. Sam, the Hulk Hogan of the seas, is going home to Bath to become a Physics teacher, believe it or not. Our very own Liam Hemsworth lookalike, Joe, is off to sunny Cornwall to continue breaking hearts and train as a fully fledged instructor. Did someone say seven millimetre wetsuit?
Not included in the group shot (photography isn’t a forte of mine) is the lovely Ross, also on the road to instructor land. One bright spark gave him a moustache to rival that of Sam’s, and he does rather pull it off, don’t you think?
The night began as civilised as ever, dousing ourselves in glitter while Gill painted her nails a striking shade of yellow that proved to be a nightmare to remove the following day. The ladies at Blue Wave will curse the day we chucked about the sparkly stuff, and we really shouldn’t give them any more reason to be peeved at us, but who can resist a bit of fairy dust on an occasion as special as this.
Highlights of the evening at Simple Life consisted of the brilliant games, organised and brought to fruition by Instructor Sam. The special seven were lined up in front of plates of flour with gummy bears hidden inside. Their cruel friends behind were responsible for cracking the egg on their face, the signal to begin the search!
It’s safe to say that Abi’s sadistic side came out to play during this round.
But Gill looked to be enjoying herself, nonetheless!
A carefully choreographed dance competition decided who was to receive the ‘nice’ buckets (really, is there such a thing?) and hidden talents were duly revealed.
The time came for the grand finale and everyone was done for. Seb finished his in lightning speed and Gill impressively did not spill a drop. That’s a lot to live up to, but challenge accepted for the rest of us.
How cute does she look in this poncho? I die.
What followed was a night of total drunken debauchery. Not naming names, two of our own separately went AWOL, ending up catching some shuteye in the dark corners of the Simple Life bar. Not even the barmen noticed them when they were shutting up shop! Over the course of the night you would often see yellow clad figures scurrying off behind a rock to undo some of the damage, but they were well looked after by those who love the most.
It’s been an utterly wild ride with this lot, and they’ve all made my time here amazingly special. Saying goodbye at the pier is going to be horrible, but I’m so lucky to call these fantastical peeps my Simple Life famalam.