Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My dive story (1)

Warning: No photos in this post.

:) :) :)
Early last November, after much procrastination, I finally put myself through a PADI Open Water course and got certified. After that, I was just too busy with this and that and didn't SCUBA dive for two months.

And then on 14 January (Thursday), I went to my first boat dive. It was a double-dive in the Marmion Marine Park. Both dives took me to 12-15 m. The first dive was at a spot called "The Ledges" and the second dive "The Apartments".

The first dive was not an enjoyable one. Half of the time I had to struggle to stay down because I didn't carry enough weight (I think). Because of this the thought of quitting the dive actually crossed my mind ten minutes after trying. But then I would make an enemy out of my buddy! So I just went along till I hit 50 bars of air in the tank and signaled to my buddy to finish the dive.

Other divers saw crayfish under ledges during the dive. But as I was too busy battling my upward movement I just decided to forget about it. I took my camera with me on my first dive. Unsurprisingly it was impossible to get any good shots. There were also lots of suspended particles in the water.

On my second dive, I carried 24 lbs (about 10.5 kg) on my weight belt. This time I found it easier to stay near the bottom. I decided not to take my camera with me on my second dive as I believed it would be more important to focus on fine-tuning my buoyancy and learn to hover than to play with a camera.

Both dives showed me more or less the same marine life - sponges, sea stars, ascidians, soft corals, a stingaree and octopus under ledges, woodwards pomfrets, crimson cleaner wrasses, scalyfins, western talmas, etc. I have seen them all when I went snorkeling. A special encounter was the scorpion fish. It was sitting quietly blending into the reef and I almost missed it.

I am not sure if I enjoyed the boat ride much. I got seasick before, between, and after the dives. I took seasick medication before we headed out to the sea and after the first dive. But still, I had to struggle not to throw up most of time I was on the dive boat. At the end of the dives, after returning to the marina, I felt so much better but started to feel very drowsy after a while. Fortunately I have arranged for a friend to come and pick me up!

I came back from the dives that afternoon feeling very dehydrated. I think I haven't drunk enough water before the dive. In fact I can still remember now the unpleasant sensation of breathing in dry, compressed air while diving. It sucks.

Anyway, the next morning, while still recuperating from the dives, I was already on the road driving to Dunsborough with a few friends for a short holiday. I have booked for a double-dive at the HMAS Swan Wreck on 16 Jan (Saturday). I can still remember being apprehensive about the wreck dive the whole of Friday, that it may turn out to be just like my dives on Thursday.

But on Saturday, I had a couple of good dives; I am not sure if it's because my experience from Thursday has better prepared me for Saturday. Anyway, I took my camera with me when diving the HMAS Swan wreck and finally returned with some shots that are presentable enough to share with you here!


Chad said...

Hey there Chai,

You're making me have second thoughts about scuba diving :)

I think sea sickness is also something I need to conquer!


Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Chad,

I guess if you are prone to seasickness like me, you can still scuba dive but maybe not doing as many boat dives as you like.


glhopman said...

I am really excited that you are SCUBA diving now! I love it! there is nothing like the feeling of being underwater and breathing, I hope that you are able to see a lot of new marine life!

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Gerrit,

FYI, in My dive story (2) I will put up my first set of dive photos.


glhopman said...

I can't wait to see them!

ABD MANAN said...

after translation:

Pada akhir penyelaman, selepas kembali ke marina, aku merasa jauh lebih baik, tetapi mulai merasa sangat mengantuk setelah beberapa saat. Mujurlah saya telah menetapkan untuk seorang teman untuk datang dan menjemput aku! :-)

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hello, terima kasih kepada teman yang sudi datang menjemput selepas penyelaman saya : )