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VIT Instructor Evaluation 2018 in Vrbnik
5 Nov 2018
by Tobias J. Jocham, Johannes Donath & Katharina Schöppl

A mixed group of seven diving instructor aspirants, consisting of Middle Franconia, Lower Bavaria, Baden and also the "Woid" dived both with, and – for the first time without air! Under the guidance of VIT training director Sepp Grimm, who along with the VIT Course Director Joachim Heil and the VIT Instructor★★★ Reimund Hübner trained the scuba divers, this instructor training was also characterized by a novelty in the history of the VIT: The first training Freediving Instructor, conducted by VIT-Freediving Instructor Trainer Uwe Kiehl.

After the successful evaluation last year at the Murner See, this time the destination was Vrbnik on the island of Krk in Croatia. There all participants could profit from the good logistics and the support of the team of the VIT dive center DIVE LOFT KRK. After all, three Instructor aspirants, two Instructor★★ aspirants, an instructor guest attendant and a Freediving Instructor gathered with many VIT Experienced Diver★★ students and local guests at the divecenter.

Overall, the following training and examination dives were on the program: Setting of a buoy, usage of the alternative air supply, controlled ascent without fin use, rescue exercises, compass navigation, as well as the various sub-disciplines in free diving (statics, distance, deep and interval diving) and appropriate security techniques.

Due to the already somewhat advanced season, the water temperatures were only at about 16°C – great respect therefore to all those involved, which used a wet or half-dry suite! During the dives, the instructor aspirants were able to benefit from the expert suggestions and advice of the examiners, which they communicated to them during the briefings or in one-to-one interviews, and then taken into account during their dives.

In addition to their own skills in handling the exercises, but above all, giving exciting dives and safety to the students (VIT Experienced Diver★★) and guests were in the foreground. In addition to the usual Mediterranean dwellers such as monkfish, yellow stripes, all kinds of bream, scorpionfish, various starfish and various types of snails, all could also enjoy quite a few sightings of cuttlefish (octopus, sepia), shrimp and seahorses.

As in the last year, all instructor aspirants were pleased that due to adverse winds, the theoretical part and the fitness test were brought forward by two days!

On Wednesday, the Bora then calmed down again and so we could dive at the wreck of the Peltastis. The weather situation of the previous days did not allow too much for the visibility, which was then not disappointed. Nevertheless, some of the students and guests were happy, it was for some of them the first wreck ever! In particular, the two freedivers were able to overlook the rather modest view, as the exciting dive site mobilized all forces, so that Johannes, like before in statics, was able to achieve a new personal record when he dived to 30.6 m taking a look at the screw of the wreck.

Then there was the obligatory night dive and on Thursday two boat trips with the boat Miki 1 to Tenki Reef and the small island Mel's Rock. The boat trips provided both the opportunity to demonstrate the various rescue options from the water to the boat, as well as the practice of different nodes in one end with two rope.

Everyone was able to learn something this week or to refresh what they had already heard. For example, Uwe Kiehl gave a short lecture on the basics of freediving and provided all sorts of practical tips for himself and his future students.

The closing dinner on Friday evening took place at the Konoba Tri Maruna. After the ceremonial handover of the certifications, examiners, aspirants, students and guests were once again spoiled with goulash, seabream, lamb, scampi and octopus. The crowning glory was a "real" pirate captain and the instructor aspirants were allowed to distribute various ingredients (red wine, milk, mint & apricot schnapps, coffee powder and tabasco) in four cups, which had to be drunk by the examiners to remind them that only Neptune truly rules the seas!

This year, again the VIT instructor training and evaluation was a great success for all participants. The whole group not only spent dives with each other, but also got to know each other better during the many dinners. We all had a lot of fun and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Robert Wernoth from DIVE LOFT KRK, the entire examination committee, as well as the diving students and guests.