Open Water Diving – Day 2

I was picked up in front of my hostel at 7:30 am. We picked up the rest of the group and went back to the classroom. We did 2 more chapters of theory (by watching the movies) then went into the pool. We repeated the skills from the day before, then continued with more surface skills: sharing air with our diving buddy, dragging him on the surface if he’s completely exhausted, giving him release from cramps, emergency ascents and more. We also practised to get out of our BC and back in while in the water.

For those like me who never dived before: the BC is the Buoyancy Compensator. Imagine a vest with a ballon inside that you can inflate manually or with pressure from your tank to increase your buoyancy or deflate to reduce your buoyancy. The diver’s goal is to always have a neutral buoyancy while diving, thus being completely weightless and hovering under water.

As soon as we get to the surface we completely inflate the BC to keep us above sealevel.

Finally we were allowed to dive 🙂 we went to the 4 meter deep section of the pool and sat on the ground. Than increased our buoyancy a little bit to start floating, than paddled around. After some time we all kneeled down on the ground with our diving buddys and repeated the most important skills. It was an amazing experience 🙂 I’m doing really well and haven’t had any problem so far.

The last thing we did in the pool was a weight check. Turns on I had 1-2 weights to much connected on my belt for good buoyancy, but for the skills it was handy because without them I could hardly kneel on the floor.

We were out the pool around 1 pm, disassembled our equipment, washed it and stowed it away. Then we had lunch. I used to the time to continue on my homework. I only had done 2/5 the night before. Our instructor encouraged us to share our results so that not everybody has to to everything. Luckily my diving buddy had downloaded the solutions from the internet 😀 turns out 1 of the chapters had changed and his results were  crap, so I did that chapter anew. The other 2 were fine though, so in the end I had done 3/5 myself and checked the other 2/5.

After lunch we watched the last video, covering the 5th chapter. We talked it all through and then did our final exam. I passed easily with 48/50 points. Nothing special, everybody had that. During the test we could talk to each other and ask our instructor. Piece of cake! 😀 I didn’t need to do either though.

Around 4 pm we drove back to the CDC shop. We returned the books and got our deposit back. We also tried on different maskes. The 2 days our instructor had repeatedly explained to us how crappy the masks are that we can use for free and how important it is to have a proper mask ans snorkel of your own. In fact, all the other diving schools down the coast require you to have your own before you start the course.

Although I’m already very tight on budget I decided to listen to the advise. The whole diving course is already that expensive that I don’t want to ruin the experience by a cheap mask that hurts and causes problems under water. And the mask I bought has a lifelong guarantee. So I ended up paying another $188 for “the best mask on the market” and a corresponding snorkel. That was already a special price because we were students. We got 10% discount.

When I was finished I walked back to my hostel. I am really tired. I had some irish girls in my dorm the night before that first partied on our balcony until midnight so I couldn’t sleep and then came back in around 2 am and talked unbelievable ruthlessly loud that I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep until they went out again. All in all I got less than 6 hours of sleep the night before and spend a couple of exhausting hours in the pool.

As I have learned in the last 2 days, in water the body loses heat 25x faster than in air.

Again – no chance for photos. And I am not allowed to take a camera while diving until I am a certified diver anyway, but out on the reef there will be a camera man fiming us. So stay tuned!

And now something to make you laugh: our instructor has a great way to explain things, similar to myself: he uses hilarious examples to have the people enjoy his talk. His examples for things you might miss or have to ignore in certain cases:

  • turtles in hula hoop rings (for the girls)
  • sharks playing cards (for the guys)
  • Jesus on a mantaray (in a surfer pose – for everybody)

😀 😀 😀

Category: Australia, Places