Open Water Diving – Day 4

Before I could crash the night before we were told how making today’s movie will happen. It was around 10 pm when I finally lay in my cabin. It was really warm so I slept in shorts only. It took me a while until I could sleep in because the engine was next room. And since a big ship like this needs constant power, the engine runs constantly.

Once I had fallen asleep I slept like a rock until the morning. We were woken up at 6 am. My cabin mate apologized for hitting my arm when he jumped down from his top bed to go for fresh air during the night. I had not noticed anything and couldn’t remember him doing so.

Woken up we had half an hour to become more awake before we had our first dive. When we were back half an hour later we had breakfast. When breakfast was finished – we had another dive πŸ˜€ This second dive was the movie dive. During this we had the chance to take of our mask and put on sunglasses, drink a beer before we finally got certified and were handed our license.

I am now a certified Open Water Diver! Allowed to go down to 18 m with only my buddy accompanying me.

We hung out on the sundeck for a while before we met in the “Library” (the topmost room in front of the sundeck) to fill out our dive logs. We finally got the stamps and Ethan had to sign it all.

The people on the 4 day plan then had there first and last certified dive. Because of your nitrogen level you’re not allowed to do more than 4 dives per day. There’s another dive in the afternoon and I’ll be doing the night dive tonight, so I had to miss out on one. My buddy Marius and I went snorkeling instead.

We saw beautiful coralls, colourful fish and even a stingray! And we saw lightning blue starfish. Didn’t even know these existed. Lovely!

Marius had an underwater case for his camera and took photos during our snorkel trip. Lucky I have my lapop with me to copy them πŸ™‚

At some point the lookout person on the boat signalled us to come back closer as we were already out quite far. We decided to make our way back completely and as soon as we were on the boat and in dry clothes we had lunch.

After lunch we met in the library again and were shown our 45 minute movie. It’s cool but lengthy. And pricey. I decided to buy it nevertheless, as it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. They produce them on the mainland and send them per mail. That will take 1-3 weeks, so don’t expect to see it online now. I also decided to hire an underwater camera, the price is very fair and it is a Panasonic Lumix TZ7 – the preceding camera to my own, nearly as good. So I’m happy πŸ™‚

Ethan wanted to know wheter I’m in for the advanced course – I am! It’s $90 now to upgrade, $400 if I wanted to do it at a later time. It’s like the drivers license: once in a lifetime. So tomorrow morning I will go down to 30 meters πŸ˜€

After some afternoon tea (3 pm) with chocolate cake I went on my first free open water dive (4 pm) with my buddy. It worked out well and we took lots of photos. Our dive was 33 minutes. We could have gone a few minutes further with our remaining air, but on our first free dive we did not want to do anything risky.

While I was hanging out in the saloon writing this blogpost Ethan came by and told me that I had won a spoon of Vegemite. They use Vegemite as punishment if you do something wrong / forget something. I apparently forgot to fix my tank with the bungee cord after my dive. So I’ll have to eat a teaspoon of pure Vegemite. Eww!

7 people from our Open Water had only booked the 4 day course and left in the afternoon, so for the remaining dives we’re only 4 students. Very nice!

Dinner was at 6 pm and at 7 pm I had my night dive. We got briefed on the different conditions and rules applying to a night dive then went into a water. The 4 of us got 2 more english people into our advanced group. Then we had our nightdive and it was awesome! I saw at least 3 giant turtles asleep. And then we saw something really rare: a spanish dancer! Ethan went crazy. 2.5 thousand dives and he had never seen anything like it.
Check it out on google, then you’ll understand what all the excitement was about.

At some point we noticed that half our group had gotten lost. Ethan decided to continue anyway. The next part we went without light, and it was really cool. We could see a little bit, just enough to follow our instructor safely. He had a red glowstick connected to his tank.

The dive took 25 minutes, then we were back at the boat where the rest had already arrived. They had somehow managed to follow the wrong people. Bad luck for them.

Half an hour later we did all the paperwork and Ethan explained to us what we had do know for our advanced license.

This guy talks without a break. The only time of day he doesn’t talk is when he’s underwater. I bet he talks during his sleep, too!

Anyway, around 10 pm I could finally go to bed.


From 2011-07-18 At the Great Barrier Reef. Posted by Philipp HΓΌbner on 7/19/2011 (41 items)

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Category: Australia, Places