More Adventures for Diving

My passion for marine life is unrelenting, wishing I could have frequent encounters as often I like. My dream to dive at Tubbataha etched in mind like a guiding star, an inspiration like a coveted reward at the end of a mission.  There is that yearning for more discoveries and amazing encounters in the underwater world – a different world! Marveling how perfect creation is…

I have been planning for the advance open water diver course so I could gain skills enough for more adventures in diving.  I was planning for it since last year, but bought the manual end of January this year and scheduled my lessons  end of February. I tried reading the assigned chapters since then. But it was pushed back again and again, and finally I did it yesterday with so much fuss in trying to fit schedules – me and my dive instructor. I was cramming trying to finish the assigned chapters and working on the knowledge reviews. I have to catch up especially that another chapter was added for my review, I sleep late to finish everything…

I wake up early so the next morning I could get a 5:00am bus and reach the diveshop not later than 9:00am – it was bit down cast and I was praying it wont rain.  As soon as I arrived, I read again to review the manual while waiting for them.  The area was still quite and I still have one hour to spare.  I found it relaxing reading at the beach hut facing the ocean… J

I thought I’ll be with Mario for my lessons but he introduced me to Erwin – a friendly, kind and fun-loving guy – as my instructor for the day.  We got along well, and everything just went smoothly.  After discussing the knowledge reviews for the three chapters, we went for our first dive exercise with Mario’s group who was diving with guests. We went to Paradise in the shallower part, I was just too engrossed with the exercise I didn’t mind the surroundings. Bouyancy control is a necessary skill…

We had late lunch and after short briefing and practice in using the compass we head for the second site in Aquarium.  I noticed lot of fishes but didn’t get the chance to explore around. We did navigation skills and it was a bit long exercise and seems confusing, I failed to count my kick cycles J I found it  hard to maintain a straight line heading for my target destination. It was helpful in finding my way to the boat or reference line.  It was bit drizzling when we surface, we had a much longer break waiting to get dark. We had another discussion and briefing for the next dive.

It was bit exciting but I was feeling jitters for our night dive, actually it is not mandatory anymore but I chose to have it. We geared up past 6:00pm already.  I thought the plan would be generally simple (as a rule for night dives), but we went to the site in a small banca paddling.  Yes, it’s simple – well, it meant water entry. Get into the cold waters and don the equipments with flash lights.  It was fun, of course I need assistance from my instructor.  We descend slowly holding unto our lights – so wonderful! A different world – underwater during night time.  Everything quite, I spotted very few fishes – I notice one just floating without swimming, it’s sleeping I thought but when I tried to reach out  it wiggled away from me.  J A moray eel, a crab, something like a squid, other nocturnal critters.  I stumbled again a porcupine fish but can’t hold it as I’m not wearing my gloves.  We spent 53 minutes before we surfaced up, the guys signaled for our ascent.  Wow, amazing!

It was truly a learning experience and I was filled with awe, there are still lot of things to learn in diving.  I still have two more dives to complete the course, I can be sure that the new skills I would learn will help me better prepared for next diving adventures.

More stories in my next dive at Duka Reefs for Advanced Open Water Diver Course Part II…

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