So its started!!
I have been wanting to learn to dive since the PADI “discover diving” in Redang Island Malaysia. I found my local store here in Canberra offer a 2 weekend package that combines theory, “confined water dive practice” - code for swimming pool, and then finishing with a weekend demonstrating and exploring those skills in the open ocean to give me the base qualification of “PADI Open Water Diver”. For those that done know PADI is the Professional Association Of Divers International. Back in the early days of diving they set the standards and benchmarks for the training of new divers. They currently train 90% if the worlds divers. I have to say I didn't really have any understanding of the technicalities of this when I signed up. One of the benefits of the standards is that if I ever want to go diving with a buddy ( you should never dive alone) if they have the PADI base qualification, I know they have been trained in the same safety procedures, same checks, same under water hand signals the whole works.
The process starts when you approach your dive centre to learn to dive. Mine is located in Belconnen, Canberra - some 1 and a half hours from the ocean. The intro night is where you meet, are talked thought the forthcoming course, measure up for wetsuits and other gear as well as the all important Dive Medical. No use getting down to 18m and realising your lungs are shot.
Starting bright and early the next saturday - the theory starts. Hardly arduous concepts but none the less it must be learnt.
The next day it time to put that knowledge to the test on the pool with all the equipment on. I have to say the most daunting thing isn't removing my respirator underwater effectively leaving me without air for a few seconds.. its the removing my mask completely - knowing to clear it I need to not breath through my nose until I need to breath out to clear the mask - oh sure that sound simple - but my body keeps wanting to breath in throughout my nose. I managed to demonstrate the required skills to pass that section.
So that leads us to the open ocean. Today is Wednesday, tomorrow evening I need to swing past the shop and pick up my dive gear as well as my buddy’s as we are driving down to the coast Friday night, to start mega early on Saturday in the real wet stuff!
Until then - keep thinking about me and not breathing through your nose!