Scuba diving is not for me.......

Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
La Casa de Felipe Taganga
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Colombia  ,
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We started off really well with the scuba diving course, the video was long but informative, the good thing was that we coincided with the two people that were going to start with us, great to know each other beforehand. We were only going to be 4 in total, the other two an Australian girl and an Australian guy, Sara and Hamish. The three of us watched the video in English and Ramón in Spanish.

After the video we had a great dinner in Bitacora right on the beach, it was proper homemade food and just what we needed, the thought of all that diving the next day had left us hungry. The evening was spent studying the textbook we were given as a backup to the video. This is when I started feeling really nervous. Didn't really like the sound of "if you hold your breath while scuba diving your lungs can explode when you ascend", or the possible burst eardrum if you don’t equalize your ears properly etc etc. All this added to my general fear of putting my head under the water, but hey, how much worse than snorkelling can it be??!! We didn’t have to be in the office until 13.00 the next day so we had a lay in and prepared our own breakfast at the hostel. Then some more textbook studying. At 13.00 we were ready at the diving school. We got our still dry wetsuits on, which was not the easiest, the walked down to the beach to get the speedboat to Playa Brava. The water was really choppy and when they said we had to take off the wetsuit again and get out 200 metres from the beach to swim the rest of the way to shore to check our swimming skills I really started to get worried. As we turned the corner to the bay though the water was a lot calmer and we jumped in and started to swim. Me not liking the quick splashy way to get into the water had no other option as we were entering the sea from the boat. Anyway, the swim went fine, the water here is so warm, it is like getting into a bath. Then as we were just getting to the shore they told us we had to also show our floating skills and stay floating 10mins in the water. Ok, no problem either, we stuck together and alternated treading water and just floating on our backs. Then we finally were allowed to swim to the shore.

We had two instructors for our group. They came to the shore with us and the boat continued with another instructor and two English guys that were already certified and had just contracted 2 fun dives for the day. They took off with the boat to another dive site. We were shown all the equipment in detail and told how it all fits together and what is used for what. Then back on with the wetsuits and boots and into the water with the ready put together equipment. So far so good….. I think it was obvious that I was really nervous and one instructor stayed with me as the other three just got going with their exercises. I did manage to breath fairly well under the water and even let myself sink to the bottom (about 70cms!!) and swim around a bit practising the breathing. I did manage to change from the snorkel at the surface to the regulator (scuba breathing apparatus) and clear the mask as it got water into it. I was also able to retrieve my regulator as it went behind me, which is another exercise you have to do. But when I had to try to take the alternate regulator from the instructor to simulate an emergency when one diver runs out of air I simply could not get the thing in my mouth without swallowing water and choking and getting into a panic. We tried several times and even had a quick snack break and then tried again. So far I was not seeing the beauty of scuba diving, just the panic of knowing that there was about 50cms of water above me and I had to remove my only breathing aid from my mouth!! Not a very nice thought. I really did try several times, I was fine just breathing and swimming around, but as soon as I had to take that thing out of my mouth I just panicked. Sadly, if I cannot get that part of the training, I decided it was not much point to continue, this is an essential security measure you need to be able to do in case you accidentally run out of air or even of the breathing apparatus gets knocked out of your mouth by accident. I decided that scuba diving at this moment is not for me, at least not a quick course like this in only three days. I think I need more time to get used to the whole breathing under water thing slowly and not rush through the exercises. I must say that the instructor was great though, he did push me a little to try to encourage me to try again, but not to make me more scared than I already was. He really had a lot of patience. Since the other three still had the proper dive left we all got into the boat and went off to a small island, as the other guys went for their first 12 metre dive I went snorkelling with my instructor. I was happy with this, I might not master the art of scuba diving but at least I do like the snorkel which allows me to see what is below the surface but not going down to the bottom to see more. The instructor reckons that if I can breath fine and like the snorkel he sees no reason why I could not be able to learn the scuba, I probably just need a slower paced course. I am not sure if I will look into this at a later stage, however I am happy at least that I tried it out. It is a great diving school and of course I will only pay for the days that I have used their services and not the full Open Water course.

This evening we had a lovely meal with Sara and Hamish and the English guys back at the hostel, they serve a great dinner here a La casa de Felipe, Ramón had a huge piece of sirloin steak for only 7eur and I went for the vegetarian crepe which was also really good. Now it is already 23.15 and I am really tired after today’s adventure so it is time to log off and say Goodnight!!!!
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annette brondin on

poor you! But you were very brave to give it a try, since you knew from the beginning that you find keeping your head below water difficult! Well done!

Gustavo on

Hola Emelie !!.

Creo que el curso ha ido demasiado rápido y no te ha dado tiempo a "aclimatarte".
No es sencillo acostumbrarse a respirar por el regulador y hacer las pruebas de respirar por el regulador de emergencia, todo eso en tan poco tiempo...
Si el submarinismo es para tí ya volverás a intentarlo y si no lo es sigue disfrutando del snorkel que tambien es hermoso.

Saludos, Gustavo.

Ali on

hey, its great to read what you have been up to. you are very good at keeping the blog up to date. i think i would do it twice and then forget!

sorry to hear that the diving didnt go as expected, i imagine it must be a really strange sensation being under the surface with out the mask on. you should try it again though at a later stage.

keep the exciting posts coming guapa and take care x x

emelie78 on

Hola Guapa!! Miss you!!
The writing slowed down since we got to Cartagena.... Loving it!! We went to a mud volcano... great fun, that will be in the next entry. Tomorrow we are heading to a little island and will probably not have internet, but plenty of time to write....
All good in Madrid??
Besitos a los dos

emelie78 on

Gus!! Que tal??
Si! Creo que necesito más tiempo, con un instructor con más paciencía.... nos vemos en Playa del Carmen y me enseñas?? jijijijiji
Que tal por allí? Espero que esteis bien todos!

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