The dive training started today with a briefing meeting at 8am in a local cafe. We were told not to eat breakfast before as we could order there. Great. Except we didn’t. So I started to lose concentration and get a bit hangry (hungry-angry) by the end of the 2 hour session. I just had to have some food so Ricardo and I went straight to a cafe. He was a nice chap, who’s had a similar life path to me, in so much as he came straight out of college, got a job and now quit after 5 years to travel a bit.
The training itself was really good. Our instructor, Amy, knew her stuff and explained everything really well, answering all our questions. I got a lot of confidence from her style of teaching, which made me far more comfortable in the water.
Really the only reservations I had about this course was feeling sick and vomiting. I get terrible, inevitable, sea sickness. I’d tried tablets before and they worked but made me feel awful, worse than if I’d thrown up. I went to the pharmacy and got some anyways. Popping two of these down my throat, 30 mins before the trip. All day I was fine. I didn’t feel sick once from the motion. Just from the thick billowing black clouds of smoke from the ancient engine, buried deep in the hull. It was the first time, I think, I have ever really enjoyed being aboard a boat.
We got to our first dive site. We’ll it wasn’t really a dive, more just bobbing on our knees about 50cm below the surface doing drills. Drills like, getting water out of your mask, taking your mask off and putting it back on, finding your dropped regulator, etc. We did this a few times. Losing the mask and finding it again was something I was really nervous about. You lose your main sensory organ and have to deal with touch alone to sort yourself out.
We moved to a deeper area to do some buoyancy drills with the jacket but the current was too strong by now. We were being pushed into the coral, which is bad form if you touch it, being so delicate. In the end we abandoned the last drills to be done tomorrow. Now we had a long swim, against the current, back to the boat. This was hard work, but I spotted some calmer water next to the shore behind a big rock so went straight there to relax. One chap took about an hour to get through the current, throughly knackered by the time we reached the boat.
On land we had a debrief and were given our next 3 sections of homework. This had taken me 3 hours last night. That was before I’d done any physical exercise so I struggled tonight. I had to pop out to the shop to get some crunchy snacks just to keep my sugar up to get through it. Finally done we collapsed into bed and slept like logs.