Kamakazie scuba

Trip Start Feb 25, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, September 6, 2004

After securing a 4 dive 3 day scuba course whilst still in Kuta, i packed up my bags and left my new group of mates there whilst i went off to tackle and tame Bali's waters. The group i'd met were, although a good bunch of people, quite boring and happy to stay in Kuta for 2 weeks and not travel the island. My feet were itchy after a few days and bonds formed were not strong enough to keep me there. I wanted to, no NEEDED to explore! My advice to people reading this diary who are travelling/about to travel is that if you're not happy with either a group you're travelling with or a place you're in, then move on, on your own if necessary. I wasn't happy with the place and also wanted to get my open water and so moved on on my own... do not be afraid to do that!

Day one consisted of the morning being spent in a classroom, being taught by both a tv documentary and by my scuba instructor - Keku. I was the only student but Keku insisted on standing at the front of the class and addressing me as through there were 50 students in the room, raising his voice to near shouting and strutting around at the front of the room. On several occassions i had to bite my lip to not laugh. At midday Keku and i drove to a swimming pool where he taught me the basics of the aparatus we'd be using (BCD) and I put into practice some of the things i'd been learning in the classroom. I really enjoyed this part of the course and generally find i learn more by the 'hands on' approach. Day two consisted to a written exam, which, upon sucessful completion (thank god!) led to 2 dives to 8 metres on a reef. This, i must add, was amazing and i found i took to scuba quite well.

Now, day 3 was 2 18 metre dives on a ship wreck in a place called Turamben which was great. Visibility was about 15 metres and the light reflected off the thousands upon thousands of fish that were swimming around us. It was truely a magnificient sight. My confidence was high and i felt as though i was truely getting the hang of it. I was ofay with the equipment - setting it up, dismantling it and naming it all. After the second dive my instructor presented me with my card stating that i'd passed my exam and was competent in the water. Later on that day i bumped into a German guy whom i'd met at Singapore airport. Granted, he was boring (a trait that most germans seem to have) but a nice guy all the same. I joined his group consisting of a bikini clad american girl (i perked up instantly!) and their diving instructor come friend. They all invited me to dive the following day, the price was good and the girl had an underwater digital camera of which she would burn me a copy.... how could i refuse? So, we all sank a few bottles of vino and got early nights - had a morning dive commencing at 7am the following day. So, i sorted my equipment out, checked it was all working ok and strapped it to my back. 'Sorted' i thought. Although we dived in the same spot as my previous 2 dives, the time we dived made it so very different. We dived to 25 metres and began to explore the depths. I constantly monitored my oxygen level. After 25 minutes, the reading stated i had 50 bar left, which should be enough for a further 10 minutes below. I gave the thumbs up to my buddy who then swam off infront of me, with me following behind. 'No, surely not' i thought as i breathed in a felt difficulty in doing so. The other 3 divers were now about 5 metres infront of me and not looking back. I slightly panicked and checked the BCD reading which still showed about 45 bar and so i tried to breath in again. Nothing! I was 25 metres below the surface, the people i was diving with were swimming away from me and my air had cut out! My life didn't flash before my eyes, i didn't feel at rest or peaceful, i plain and simply panicked! My legs kicked (like the play on words) into action and propelled me forwards at a rate that most dolphins would be proud of! I urgently swam towards the group who were casually admiring the coral whilst i held my breath. I lunged forwards and ripped the flipper off my buddy who in turn spun around and could no doubt see i was in trouble! I indicated that i had no air and he spat out his mouth piece and offered it to me.... I was at passing out level when i took that first breath! Man, that could've nearly been it and it was not a good way to go! We shared air as we accended and i decided that it might be a good idea to try and close my eyes as they'd been open extremely wide for ages now! I then tried to use my tank of air which worked perfectly fine! As i struggled to get out of the water and back onto dry land i was the butt of the jokes! Now, in the UK that goddam oxygen tank would've been chucked as it was obviously faulty, but oh no, it was loaded up on the back of the truck, ready and waiting for the next unsuspecting punter!

Asia at it's best!
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