SCUBA review

Posted from Thailand.

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At 10:30 in the morning I rocked up to Sairee Cottage Divers and told them I was there to complete my SCUBA review. They told my I would be doing my review with Paddy and to just wait a moment as he was running a few minutes late.

Great. A few more minutes so I can get more nervous. The last time I went diving was a year ago in Fiji, and we saw a shark, and there was a cyclone, and it was my final dive for my Open Water Diver. A review is necessary when you haven’t dove in over a year. Good. I could use a briefing. It costs 1500 Baht at Sairee Cottage.

Sairee Cottage's classrooms.

Sairee Cottage’s classrooms.

Paddy arrived quickly and we walked out back to the classroom area, the gorgeous classroom area, and got down to the theory part of the review. And I never felt more stupid. I couldn’t remember anything. Nitrogen narcosis? Safety stop? Emergency swimming ascent? Oh boy. But Paddy was great and we discussed all the answers in detail so I could feel confident about getting into the water that afternoon. Well, sort of.

Getting gear sorted and bagged to take to the boat.

Getting gear sorted and bagged to take to the boat.

We got my gear together and I started to get … excited.

We discussed the plan when we got on the boat and we went over how to set up the gear, but I had forgotten so many things about using the gear too and putting it together. This is why I need a dive master. Paddy reminded us to remember to equalize our ears during our descent. Oh yeah. And to remember that air expands as we go back up so to keep letting air out of our BCDs. Oh yeah. And how to do the skills we had to review. I dreaded having to take my mask off under water.

So the time came to get into the water, and I had never done a boat entry. This proves to be quite fun, actually. It’s really just a big stride into the sea, one hand on your weight belt, the other on your mask and regulator.

When we had to descend I turned into a retard. Fortunately it was short-lived. I performed all my skills, clearing my regulator, removing my mask (over and over again,) removing my weight belt and removing my BCD (and putting them all back on again, of course.)

I still had some nerves and was shivering in the 29C water, probably due to stress and fear. So my divemaster and I exited the water and he gave me his Shark Skin top so I could keep a little more warm. It helped a lot. But shivering due to fear was new. Perhaps I was also dehydrated? Yes. Yes. Let’s go with that.

Happy scuba divers after a dive. They provide fruit after the first dive.

Happy scuba divers after a dive. They provide fruit after the first dive.

After we finished this dive I went for another after, a fun dive. This one was great and while I still had some buoyancy issues, it was awesome to be back in the water. When we returned to the dive shop I found myself signing up for a three-dive day trip the next day. I think I’m hooked. Plus, I bought a six-dive package. Looks like I may be spending a bit more time on Koh Tao than I thought.

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