Thursday, January 6, 2011

Never Dive Alone

Photo by Satya DW (Thanks, Satya). Source: here

The title is the slogan for all divers because diving is a risky sport and you should always dive with a buddy. Since I am learning to be a diver, I want to share some of my experience:).

Ok, so why diving? When I went snorkeling in Lombok last April, I was really captivated by the underwater beauties and wanted to observe them closely. As the world's largest archipelago (with more than 17,000 islands), Indonesia has many diving spots, all waiting there to be explored. So last October, I took a diving course in TVRI diving club along with Peeyutz although I can't swim. Come to think of it, I made a lot of adventurous decisions last year:P.

I mulled on this diving stuff for quite some time because it ain't cheap. In case you're wondering, the diving course was Rp 3 millions (approximately US$300), and I still had to buy my diving gear (mask, snorkle, booties and fins) for Rp 1.25 millions. After months of wishful thinking, I took the money from my wedding bank account, since I'm still single anyway (ahh, the woes of a singleton). Those really burned holes in my bank account.

Before joining the course, I also made financial plans to make sure that I still could live my normal life. But the price was worth it as it included five sessions (each session is 6 hours) in the swimming pool and the trip for the diver certification. And it is going to be an unforgotten experience:).

Ok, so about the diving course. First lesson was fin swimming, which is basically like snorkeling (wear mask, snorkle and fin, and swim!). It was quite relaxing.

Second was equalizing. When you take a flight or climb a mountain, sometimes your ear is blocked due to air pressure. It's the same thing in diving. How to relieve your ear: press your nose, close your lips and blow as hard as you can until you can hear again.

Third was duck dive, in which I should bend my body to reach deeper area. At first attempts, it was difficult but Otto, my diving trainer, was very patient with me. How I do it: make sure I'm floating comfortably, hold my breath, bend my body 90 degrees toward the pool floor, lift my legs upward to push myself deeper, once my body is totally submerged I flap my fins, touch the floor and shoot back to the surface to take a breath. It's not easy, but not impossible.

Fourth, mask clearing, a technique to clear your mask from water because there are circumstances where you have to wash the fog off your mask underwater. You let water fill your mask, then you press the top side of the mask and blow air through your nose as hard as you can. Scary, huh? But if you remain calm, then everything will be alright.

Then I tried diving in the pool with the buoyancy control device (BCD). When you dive, you have to change the way you breathe. You inhale and exhale oxygen with your mouth, not your nose. And sometimes I forget that, hahaha.

During the course, the instructor also taught us to leave our gears (weight belt and BCD) underwater, swim to the surface and fetch the gears by duckdiving. I tried this on the six-meter deep pool and I made it. But if I should do it in the ocean, I wouldn't be too sure about it.

Hmm, do I miss anything? Oh well, even if I do, you'll learn everything you need to know during the course. Of all diving lessons, I concluded one thing: you are the master of your body and mind. While diving is like yoga in many ways, you should always dive with your buddy:). 

4 comments:

  1. And now, do you feel better? I hopee so. Regards for the fishes. Santiago

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  2. yes, i feel better. the fishes are in my stomach now:). thanks santiago.

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  3. tif, jangankan di laut, di kolam aja i never succeeded in doing that duck f*cking dive! (pardon the curse :D) up until now. sigh..
    anyway, looking forward to diving somewhere else again with you, buddy! ;)

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  4. don't worry, novia, you're doing good for a newly certified diver:). let's dive again, buddy. but first of all, i need to buy a wetsuit!!!

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