Six complete stranger from different background; well there were two siblings but to me everyone is a complete stranger, came together for one goal, to obtain PADI Open Sea Diving certification, and I’m one of them. Yes you heard me, I enroll myself to take that license. Oh my gawd, it is surreal to me, I’m taking PADI Diving License. It took us three days to complete the course and get our license. So I have covered the land and the sea, now new goal, to the air. HAH!
The first day covers the theory part of diving. You might say it’s the boring part of it. Heck all theory are boring, people want the real thing, I mean you paid for the course expecting to do the training straight away; by the way we have the cheapest course fee in the world, and all when got was watching some instructional video. Nah I was not bored by it, in fact it was a rush for me, information rush. I was actually fascinated by the science behind scuba diving, seriously. Oh and I love the Recreational Dive Planner Chart, easy peasy to understand, and the fact that we engineers and charts are second to nature.
Now the second day was a bit more exciting, what all of us are waiting for, using the gears, breathing underwater for the first time; except for one who have done it before. Oh before I continue on, I have to tell you that I don’t know how to swim. Swim may not be the correct word for my predicament, I have problem with floating. Yeah, I’m taking diving course and I don’t know how to float. I know I could submerge gracefully but not float. It turn out that all diver are equip with a Buoyancy Control Device or BCD for short. No, not STD, its BCD! I would say it’s the safest life jacket ever! And since we are going to be diver, no more “peace” sign when taking photo. That’s reserved for the tourist. Come to think of it, I never do the “peace” sign on all of my photo, I think. I don’t think it’s a cool thing for a geek to be doing that. Seriously now.
So the first day underwater covers most of what we had watched and understand theoretically, and get paired up in buddy system to do our exercise. We’re supposed to do it in a swimming pool, but out of convenience, we went straight to shallow water at Sapi Island, I guess about three meters deep. I wouldn’t know because everything looked bigger and closer underwater. I remember trying to tap my buddy but missed him because he was still a little further away from me. The water that day was cold, a bit murky and infested with Jellybugs. At first I thought I was having a skin allergy reaction which was very unlikely for me but then again possible. Not when one of my course member voice out that she feels itchy when I realize I was not alone. We were the unlucky yet very determined group to get certified. There was one point when the dive master asked me to take off my mask as part of the training and I panicked not because of sea water getting into my eyes but scared that my contact fell off. I thought that the air bubble had hit my contact but when I emerge from the water I could see clearly. How should I know it was blurry underwater. OK so I have no problem opening my mask underwater. I think I was exhausted that day from the cold water. I did pee underwater to warm myself. Hey! Whats with the look? You ought to know, some people are willing to share my warm pee to get warm aite? In extreme condition, you have to do what you have to do to survive and I pee to survive the coldness.
On the last day of diving course, we would do the same exercise but in a deeper water, about 10 meters deep I think, and there are even more Jellybugs there. The temperature still the same as the day before that so I manage to survive a bit. Although visibility was still poor, I could see coral and fishes swimming around, the rest saw one big Clown fish aka Nemo; thanks to Disney all Clown fish are popularly know as Nemo, except for me. Drats! Oh on the last day of training, we were asked to swim across from the boat to the buoy without any gears. I was scared at first but somehow this time I feel confident to swim, which I did without any incident. I even tried to float myself which I manage to do. I’m proud to say I am now confident to float, on sea water of course. Swimming pool is a different thing, but I don’t mind trying 😉
So there you go, my three day full Diving Course, surviving the cold water, stung a lot by Jellybugs leaving a lot of red spot, sun burnt because wanting to get warm fast after getting out from the cold water and gotten darker; well no surprise there since I work under the sun everyday except I don’t have my white hard hat with me on that day. I need to do a few dive of course to get a hang of it though. I need to go back to Sapi Island to catch that Clown fish everybody was talking about. I’m starting to browse for underwater cover for my Nikon now. Maybe next time it’s underwater shoot for me. Oh I’m so excited by this.