It was my first dive today and I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous, even though I sailed through the pool lessons yesterday.
The one big thing for me that got me the last time I attempted a diving qualification was removing the mask underwater. The last time I tried it about eight years ago in a reservoir in not so sunny England – I took water up my nose and went into a coughing fit and then felt panicky and needed to come up.
Now the waters in the UK are certainly not as lush as the waters overseas. When I had my first dive the visibility was really bad, it was cold and I couldn’t equalise properly. I should have instructed my dive leader that I needed to stop and equalise but I felt that I needed to hurry to the bottom. So the pain in my ears got worse, along with the fact that we followed the wrong shot line down and then realised that at a little past 20 metres, there was still another five more to go until the sea bed. So we aborted the dive and started to ascend but divers were coming down on top, so I panicked a bit and then ended up shooting up without dumping air out of my BCD.
Now this probably all sounds a bit gobbledy gook, but basically you need to be really careful when coming back to the surface after going to certain depths and time. This is because as you come up the air in your lungs expand and without giving yourself time to let air out gradually, you run the risk of lung damage or decompression illness. Lucky enough I wasn’t down for long so it wasn’t too bad but before I knew it I was spinning around and shooting to the top. My dive leader had to grab me and dump air. When I got to the top my nose was bleeding and I couldn’t hear properly out of my left ear. After a bit of a slap on the wrist and the feeling of failure – it turned me off diving a bit.
I then pushed myself to do another dive (the reservoir) and then the mask removal didn’t go too well so that was the end of my diving days.
I always felt like I failed as I never completed my open water dives and therefore let my Uncle down (who very kindly introduced and paid for my membership and course) and myself.
Therefore, eight years later I decided to kick some diving butt. I wanted to find a BSAC school in Koh Tao to finish off where I started but the main ones over here are PADI and SSI. I opted for a PADI Open Water Course with Big Blue Diving as PADI is the largest dive organisation worldwide.
Now what can I say apart from my dive instructor (Boz) is absolutely fantastic. He is funny, calming and great and I feel completely at ease with him.
I couldn’t ask for better and it really does go to show that your instructor makes all the difference.
I sat at the table at 7am looking through my notes and all I did was constantly twitch as I tried to dodge the multitude of mosquitoes dive bombing me with their suckers ready to taste my blood. I managed to swat a few and one will no longer suck blood from another human being again. Its vampire days are over. I on the other hand didn’t manage to survive the incident unscathed, but I took one for the team 😉
Well today was my first open water diving sessions and I also had my exam and all I can say is I am really proud to have passed the written – 88%, get in!!
I also did two dives and although really nervous at first, Boz was amazing and made it a really relaxing day. I’m really pleased with what I have accomplished as I did many water skills including taking off my mask and I felt today has been a great triumph.
The underwater world is amazing – amongst all the great sea life and fish, I actually was lucky enough to see a sea horse, a baby barracuda and many more beautiful creatures. At one stage Boz grabbed my hand and started swimming really fast and immediately I thought he was trying to get me out of danger. Therefore, I kicked as fast as I could and didn’t look back because I thought there was obviously something behind that wasn’t that nice.
All of a sudden Boz stopped and ushered me to look in the direction of his finger and to my utter amazement, there it was – a Green Turtle!!! OMG, epic beyond belief. The Green Turtle was out of this world and moved so gracefully through the sea. I can’t believe I was lucky enough to see it. Not many people did. What an unbelievable day – I’m still buzzing from it.
Already I can’t wait until the next dive tomorrow and I will get this qualification – I owe it to my uncle and I.