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Jan 16

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Scuba Diving

“If you are not willing to learn – no one can help you.
If you are determined to learn – no one can stop you.”
So I finally got scuba certified!!!! YES! I had been wanting to go diving for a very long time but had been putting it off since nobody wanted to go with me. Luckily, my friend Simone from Germany was up for the challenge and we decided to take the course together. We signed up for PADI Beginner’s Open Water Course through Aquanut Divers in Kande Beach. The course allows us to dive up to 18 meters (I think that’s around 45 feet, not sure) and taught us the basics of diving like identifying equipments, suiting up (suit up Ted! We’re going diving! – from “How I Met Your Mother” haha), and what to do when things happen under water.

Anyway, we really enjoyed the course albeit bad weather condition. The water was really choppy, cold and the visibility was less than 5 meters. Luckily, the dive site is by an island so it blocked the waves and the visibility was okay (maybe around 10 meters) and it allowed us to continue our course. The first couple of days was spent watching videos but the power was out most of the time so we spent some time reading the book and asking our instructor questions for clarification.

So finally after a few lessons, the instructor decided that we were ready for our pool session. The water pump for their pool was broken at that time so we had to do at at the lake. We got really excited but nervous at the same time. So we prepared our gear, suited up and headed to the water. I had a really hard time with removing the mask and putting it back on and letting the water escape. I think that was the most difficult task for me. I kept inhaling water through my nose and was coughing through the regulator like I had bronchitis or something. Simone on the other hand was natural. She made it seem so easy and made me look bad. But I gathered myself and gave myself a pep talk “John, you can do this.” I kept thinking, “we are not supposed to breath underwater but now we are…”

The second day was the most interesting day because I thought that I was going to die. We headed to the island for our “deep” dive. I still wasn’t comfortable with removing the mask but I had to do it. So I said, “well..I already paid for the course, I have to do it”. So we headed down to the bottom of the lake at around 12 meters. We did all of the skill test needed for that day and we passed it. Now on to the fun part! Exploration! I felt like Dora the Explorer. Except without the map and the backpack. So as we continued diving, our instructor kept checking on us and asked us to check our air. I was breathing heavier than Simone and our instructor so I was using more air. I checked my gauge and my tank was half full. So the instructor signaled to follow him. By this time, my throat was getting really dry and couldn’t produce any saliva to moisten my throat. So I gagged a little trying to swallow and couldn’t swallow anything. Uh oh! I was in trouble. I started panicking! My throat was really dry and didn’t want to drink water from the lake. My breathing became heavier and heavier. I was using plenty of air so I decided to check…”OMG!!! *bubbles bubbles* ” My gauge was at 20 bars! I was using my reserved air! So I grabbed my instructor’s foot and signaled that I was low on air. He asked how much left and I signaled “20 bars”!!! We immediately surfaced and as soon as I went up..I threw up!!! Yes, I threw up! So we headed back and ended our dive for that day. I apologized to Simone for cutting our dive short. She still had about 100 bars left.

Let me fast forward through the boring stuff and get to the fun part. I think it was our last day and we had to do our final test. I decided to bring my GoPro with me and asked my instructor to wear it so he can record the entire dive. It was really cool seeing how calm I looked in the video considering I was so nervous the previous dive. I looked really professional. Haha. The last dive was definitely enjoyable as I used less air so we got to see the Jeep, canoe and the tree underwater. We also had fun taking pictures. Too bad it was our last dive but there’s always next time. But next time will be at a different site :)

Here are some of the photos:

We got tired so we decided to drive

 

Underwater tree behind us

Chilling on a rock sipping on some lake water.

WE GOT CERTIFIED!

 

 

John Mark Esplana

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Permanent link to this article: http://peacecorps.jmephotographie.com/2013/01/scuba-diving/

2 comments

  1. Joanne Nelson

    Sounds like things are going good for you. Great! I et back in April. I was with the Zamasanga family for homestay &it just didn’t work out . I’m glad to be back in Iowa on my farm. P C was just not for me.

  2. Scubaguru

    I think that was the most difficult task for me. I kept inhaling water through my nose and was coughing through the regulator like I had bronchitis or something

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