Lots of diving

Trip Start Aug 14, 2006
Trip End Sep 04, 2006

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Diving was incredibly fun yesterday. We took a longtail boat out to a larger boat owned by Big Bubble (our diving company) which took us to Au Leuk in the Southeastern part of the island. There we put our equipment together, put on the wetsuits, the tank, jacket, mask, fins etc. Our group (British girl, 2 American guys, 2 Dutch guys) was quite enthusiastic. We took a large step from the boat with all our heavy equipment on and fell into the water. We quickly inflated the jacket and floated at the top without having to move. We swam towards a fairly shallow bit near the beach to do our first practising. It feels incredible going underwater but being able to breath perfectly and continuously.

We were in the water for almost 3 hours in total, practising all kinds of skills (clearing the mask of water, using an alternate air supply in case of emergency, making ourselves levitate at a certain height, taking off the jacket and putting it back on underwater etc). Virtually all of this happened underwater with the help of hand symbols (that we had to learn before of course). It was incredibly fun. Unfortunately my diving buddy Kate couldn't handle the feeling of breathing underwater so she had to give up after just a few seconds. The other 4 did very well at learning the skills and our instructor, Sandra, said we learnt incredibly fast and were an excellent group.

Sandra did a great job at teaching us. She was patient if she needed to be, happy and funny, and always made everything very clear so nobody had to feel nervous. Of course we dove into deeper water (about 4 meters) after a while to practise a bunch of stuff down there. My ears were Ok, I just had to equalize (by holding my nose shut) every meter or so that I descended. We saw a bunch of fish etc, even though we were still fairly close to the surface. After diving Sandra specifically said to me that I did very well and learnt quickly and that I should consider becoming a dive instructor! Sounds like quite a dream job to be honest haha.

After diving we got back on the boat and discussed everything a bit, then went back to the main beach with the diving shop and went back on land. A couple of us sat at the beach for quite a while and then headed to dinner at a beachside restaurant (I had a very nice Thai curry with squid which was made very pet-mak/spicy). I can eat anything spicy again...I always order the spiciest things and ask for them to be made even spicier hehe. We sat at the beach side restaurant until it closed and then went to our beach and sat in the sand and talked, sang, and watched the stars for quite a while. I saw 3 shooting stars in total! Amazing! Of course I practised my French some more as well.

This morning I had to get up quite early to go back for the last bit of theory and the final theoretical exam (I got 96%, I rushed through it so I made 2 silly mistakes...I was the best in the group anyway though). I just had lunch with the other guys (Pad Thai with shrimp and a papaya juice), and now I have about 45 minutes until I go for my real dives! They will be off the island somewhere in about 12 meters depth. Apparently we have to re-practise a few simple skills, but then we had the rest of the 45 minutes or so underwater to explore, levitate, and look at the fish/corals/underwater-life! We will be doing 2 of these sessions. Tomorrow I have the morning off and then my two 18-meter dives which will be similar! I really can't wait. SCUBA diving is incredibly fun and exciting. It's an amazing feeling being under a few meters of water with as much breathing and air as you like!

I will try to update what everything was like again tomorrow (probably when I have my SCUBA Open Water license!). Until then...ciao ciao!
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