Scuba student gets creative in her own backyard
ALONG with thousands of fellow Flight Centre employees, Jessica Dakin-Masters found herself stood down due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Following a love of scuba diving, the former Gayndah girl took on a 14-week dive masters course with Hervey Bay Dive Shop.
Unfortunately, a few days into the course, she again found herself unable to continue when all dive shops were closed until May 1 due to the coronavirus.
Not one to let an opportunity pass, Jessica took on a social media challenge by her Dive Shop boss.
"He suggested a way to keep dive shops in people's minds was to post some pics on Facebook but making them fun and interesting," she said.
Dressed in her bright pink and black wetsuit, complete with fully equipped scuba gear, she went for a visit around Biggenden, accompanied by her mother Pauline Dakin who videoed her escapades.
There was a visit to the ATM to withdraw some money before a visit to Biggenden Bakery to buy breakfast.
Jessica said she tried to get into the Grand Hotel but the doors were locked.
"Walking down the street in flippers was a bit difficult", she said.
After a visit to Foodworks for some groceries it was home to put out the garbage bin.
Jessica said she did try to thumb a lift out on the Isis Highway, without success.
Pauline Dakin said they got some strange looks, especially out on the highway.
"Downtown there were only about a dozen people but one lady did ask if she could take a photograph," she said.
Jessica said the exercise was fun, but very hot.
"My mask kept fogging up," she said.
"A friend said on my Facebook page "Only you would do this!"
On a serious note, Jessica has been practising her breathing techniques in a tank a bit bigger than a lick trough in the backyard of her mother's Biggenden home.
Jessica said she wears a weight belt around her waist to keep her down in the water.
"Everything is filmed with a GoPro so the boss can check out my progress," she said.
Jessica said it would be nice to get back into the water soon.
"I would actually pay for a dive and not wait for a client," she said.
"Part of the course was to spend training hours during the whale season on a boat but that may be cancelled too.
"I just have to be patient as all the dive shops are in the same boat."