After balking a couple of times at actually putting my head under and breathing (seemed straight forward enough practicing on the boat but once in the water my brain seemingly rejected the idea) I finally relaxed and the rest was a breeze. And I loved it. So quiet except for the clicking of the coral. And the thousands of fish that mainly ignore you, sometimes run away, or occasionally swim up to check you out.
So after three days of diving and a little test (a doddle) I got my Open Water Dive Certificate and thought I was well clever and was making plans to dive every site in SE Asia and then the world. But then the instructor (Rudolphe, a 45yo Frenchman who has lived in Vietnam for the last 7 years but prior to that spent two years in Rotorua as a croissant baker for Pac'n'Save. (Small world)) made a better offer. Would I be interested in training as a divemaster over the next 3-4 months? Instruction would be free, the diving would be free (two dives a day), but I would have to pay for the Padi (the main scuba certifying organization) study books and certification. And then at the end of the season in Phu Qouc I could, if I wanted, travel up with the rest of the staff for the season in Hoi An and work as a divemaster.
Well, said I, I need to check with my beloved. Could I get back to you?
And guess what? Catherine was even more keen for me to start work than I was. Go figure.
Obviously I was quite chuffed with this opportunity and arranged with Rudolfe to start work on 1 Dec so as to give us a few days to find alternative accommodation (our bungalow being to far out of town).
But then....................................................whats that on my back?
G - After more than a few weeks of doing very little (actually considerably less than very little) I thought maybe I could check out doing a dive course while we were here. A few weeks after that I thought "yeah. Good idea." And only a few weeks later I found myself down at one of the three local dive shops actually enrolling. As a result of the dive season having just started (the dive season in Phu Quoc only runs from November to April) I ended up being the one and only student in my class. Excellent! No-one but the instructor to tell me maybe I should learn to swim before I dive. So Monday morning I was up early for a 7am pickup and ready to discover some sunken treasure (so I could then retire back to my hammock for the remainder of my life). Straight to the boat, a couple of hours instruction on the way to the dive site, and then into the water.