Dive Master Week 2 - Gili Air - Indonesia

I took this picture showing the joy after almost an hour underwater on a discover scuba

I took this picture showing the joy after almost an hour underwater on a discover scuba

 

Bit of a recap of week one - house sorted, transport sorted, dive site orientations, shop orientation and the discovery of my inability to take my mask off underwater.

 

During week 2, I started settling into the rhythm of Gili Air and diving operations. 

 

After my attempt in week 1 of the first of a number of timed activities being a timed 400m ocean swim (week 1 attempt resulted in DID NOT COMPLETE due to current). I re-attempted in week 2 and received a mark sufficient to gain a pass.

 

Clocking up almost 15 dives since day one, tagging along on "fun dives" with qualified divers and guides as well as observing a variety of courses from Discover Scuba (base program) through to Advanced Adventure Dives including Deep Adventure dives to 30m.

Also this week I dug deeper in the "PADI Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving" - key text for any diver looking to gain a deeper understanding of many aspects of diving and the diving environment.

 

 

 

This week also saw the first of a series of pool sessions with instructors to work on my underwater demonstration skills.

Me floating in the pool observing skills

Me floating in the pool observing skills

 

My day off during week two was spent in the large regional city of Mataram on Lombok getting a bit of a look at regional Lombok life and shopping.

Dive Master Week 1 - Gili Air - Indonesia

I have not been online much this week - as you will see I have been too busy!

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I arrived after a boat delay, late on Monday afternoon. After making my way to the dive center by horse cart I met the staff and crew. 

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Later that night I viewed a number of available homestay type rooms. Bedroom with bathroom and outdoor shared kitchen. 

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I have also purchased a bicycle - the main form of transport on the island. For the cost of 6 weeks rental I purchased one - a massive investment of $70AUD. 

Oh. And I think my bed has bed bugs. So next task is destroying them- all 

This week I have also done 10+ dives, following dive groups, observed regulator servicing, learnt how to use the refrigerated (air dryer) compressor to fill tanks and been working on my underwater marker deployment (DSMB). 

  

Starting to feel like a real Scuba Diver

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I have now finished 6 dives following my PADI Open Water Diver Qualification. Of those 6, I have had to share air (essentially, I nearly ran out of air due to hyperventilation and excitement) if you would like to see this process, here is a Youtube clip showing the underwater process

I have now finished the final two, number 5 & 6. Only during these dives did I start to feel like a “real” scuba diver. Not just some one pretending. I was able to settle in to the dive. Enjoy it.

Here is a video of those dives (click on the picture)

“Diving

Padi Dive Course Complete!

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What a weekend!

As you know I have been completing my Open Water Diver Certificate through INDEPTH Scuba here in Canberra.

The past weekend saw the second and final weekend component.  Heading down the coast on friday night with all our gear packed, my dive buddy and I arrived at the dive lodge to start fresh and early on saturday.

Saturday saw 3 dives, mostly concentrating on practicing and demonstrating skills we learned in the pool the weekend before. My biggest apprehension was the component relating to removing my mask in the water, and replacing it. This simulates your mask being kicked off and you need to recover it. I just could not calm down enough to process not breathing through my nose! Well in the open water (a 6m deep shore dive location at Bawley Point NSW) I nailed it. Taking it slow and not rushing.

The following day was the 4th and final dive was a boat dive at a location off Batemans Bay called ‘The Tunnel’ The current from the north was described by our boat captain along with our dive instructor and dive master was ‘ the strongest they have seen’. Descending the 10m down the boats anchor line to the lip of  ‘The Tunnel’ the divers looked more like a flags in a storm. But once crossing into the ‘The Tunnel’ it was calm. Reaching our max depth of 18m – the max depth of our PADI qualification – we saw a lot of sea urchins and the Blue Rass that love to eat their creamy insides.

Sadly I was unable to capture any video or images of the dives as they were learning dives and I wanted to concentrate on the actual skills needed.

Below is the group and our instructors.

PADI Open Water Diver Certification -Learning to dive pt 1

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!

 

 

 

Crowd funding my #PADI Open Water Certificate

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As you know we are buying a house. That has pretty much locked up any spare cash we have until after November. After the introduction dive we ( read I, Frankie chickened out just as his head got under the water) did in Redang Island last year I have been looking at doing my PADI open water certification. That is the first step of the whole qualification process.

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I know it sounds a little odd but I am hoping that you might like to chip in some cash to help get me on the course along be part of the journey. The course is hosted half her in Canberra and the remainder down the south coast of NSW. The course is being run by Indepth Scuba here in Canberra and is split over two weekend, the first being theory and pool practice followed by a second weekend down the coast having 2 shore dives and one boat dive.

Including equipment, accommodation and training the entire course is $1300aud. I simply can't spring for that all in one lump and I am trying to get it done before winter starts and the water moves to being almost liquid ice (for me any way).

If you can help, that would be great, individuals / businesses who provide decent chunks of cash will get specific mentions in the video I will make.

If you are unable to help financially please share the link to all your friends on Facebook and twitter. Get WADE HIS DIVE CERT