Day 2 PADI - Drowning is not the way to go !!!
Trip Start May 10, 2011
162Trip End Apr 15, 2012
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We were given our kit our wetsuits, BCD (our body suit inflated jacket thingy) weights, flipper and masks and he showed us how to assemble it – next it was time to get in the water. Some places do their initial training in a swimming pool but seeing as they don’t have one ours is straight into the sea on a shallow platform just off the jetty.
We had several tasks to be able to do under the water which involved taking mask off and on, filling it up with water and clearing it under water, buddy breathing e.g if you ran out of air, so this involved taking the regulator out ur mouth and putting in another one under water, and the obvious one was breathing and getting under the water.
For Marc this was all no problem for me who has only ever had my face under a shower the idea of taking a mask off and having water around my nose was a HUGE issue – I got under the water ok (2m deep) and somehow I managed to be able to take the regulator out of my mouth and put another one in and you just breathe hard to clear the extra water or press a purge button that was easy enough. As for the mask it was horrible I hated it every time. I eventually tried it, I done it in such a rush that I swallowed water which then makes me gag – you can do everything through your regulator including being sick !! This to me is completely out of my comfort zone I really didn’t enjoy it at all but I did it a couple of times and he seemed happy enough that I did it ok!!
Next it was time to take our first dive underwater – we went to around 12m in excellent visibility bright clear water with a white sandy bottom it looked lovely – we seen 2 HUGE turtles (well over 1m long) sitting on rocks, loads of cool other fish too cuttlefish, clown fish, catfish, frogfish– it felt amazing – Marc was chasing after schools of fish, the sun was shining in through the water it was beautiful. Marc was cheeky though I was plodding along and the wee bugger came swimming face up underneath me smiling at me- he looked hilarious in his mask and I fought the urge for the uncontrollable laugher I had – you know when ur not supposed to laugh but you cant help it – that was me !! Opening my mouth was not an option haha. I even did a circle too and looked up through the water to the sun it was so clear and amazing I thought woo hoo I love this.
My near death experience !
So we came up for some lunch and I was delighted with my progress I seemed to be doing so well – the diving bit was easy it was the skills tasks that I hated.
So we now had to do more skills tasks to do deeper under the water – he took us down a bit deeper to 6m and we knelt on the sand – we had to do another mask fill up and clear here and I was absolutely shitting it – I looked up and I could see the surface then tried so hard to focus but the noise of my air bubbles and the sound of the ocean pressing on my ears and no fishes to distract my thoughts was overwhelming- I wanted to overcome this so much, I had done the mask thing in the shallows I surely could do it again. Then I don’t know what happened just as Marc finished his mask clearing mine seemed to get some water in it anyway, then I felt water in my regulator so I purged it but in the frenzy of trying to clear the tiny bit of water in my mask and the feeling of water in my mouth I made the ultimate mistake!! I panicked and did the one thing you’re not supposed to – I pulled the regulator out of my mouth and made for the surface!
Gasping literally for air!
Well let me tell you I wont be doing that again!!!! - it was utterly horrifying, I didn’t have any air in my lungs when I left the bottom so I was holding my breath, but 6m is so far and the surface was never coming, the 5kg weights round my waist didn't help, I was kicking like mad but my body forced open my mouth for air and I took in a huge mouth of water I was still kicking but no surface, I felt like I was suffocating I had no air, my body again forced open my mouth but it was only more water. Still no surface god knows how but I remembered my regulator I reached down and thankfully found it – I didn’t get it in properly but it was enough to get a tiny bit of air just before I broke the surface of the water gasping for air and in utter shock at what just happened. Lucky my instructor Jack was right behind me as I didn’t think to inflate my jacket and I had 5kg of weights on me so I would have just sunk again. Marc popped up and was beside me but I was bawling my eyes out in utter shock – it was the single most horrific moment of my life I will never forget the feeling of needing air and there not being any. Lucky we were not any deeper as it can be dangerous to come to the surface that quick and you should NEVER take out your regulator – I was so annoyed at myself so disappointed. I desperately tried to get myself together to try again in the shallows. I really didn’t want to give up but I was a mess, I got out, dumped my equipment and just sat in a daze. Jack said we could try again tomorrow but right there and then I wanted to never go back.
We went back to the room and I just sat playing the whole thing over and over in my head it was so horrible. Marc went to speak to the girl who was organising things as this messed up the course days no matter what Marc still had to qualify. She hadn’t heard what happened and came straight down to talk to me – she was lovely and gave me load of reassurance and said I should try again and we decided that Marc would continue with Jack and I would go with another guy Steve who was excellent and very patient she assured me. I said I would try again tomorrow, I so wanted to complete this as I certainly didn’t want to leave Borneo with that as my last memory but I was dreading it.
It was another early night it takes it out of you doing stuff all day – well especially drowning!! We watched a movie n got some sleep welll as much as my nightmares would allow haha.