3 days Open Water diving course in Krabi
I love the sea and wanted to explore diving since young. However due to certain reasons I was not able to do it. It was when I was at an older age that I finally have the chance to do this! Though I felt I should have started this earlier due to the fact that it is harder to dive in term of physical abilities at this age, however this did not stop me. The beauty of the sea is too much for me to miss it. People told me it is never too late to start anything and I agreed! So I started my diving journey at the age of 40 and would like to continue as long as I can. I love to travel to Thailand and decided to take my Open Water diving course in Krabi.
The Open Water diving course is a 3 days course with half a day on theory and written test, half a day in pool learning and finally 2 days of diving out at sea. I chose to learn from Aqua Vision Ao Nang PADI dive school as they have a team of very professional instructors and their diving course prices are also competitive. They are also voted Best Dive Center of the Year in 2017. The booking of the course was done through email and the theory lessons are self-learning online before the course start.
We were introduced to diving on the first day to warm up everyone. After the refresher theory lessons, we took our written test and the instructor explained clearly on the all our diving queries. Though the theory lessons were boring, it is very important as it prepare the diver on the upcoming challenges. After lunch, we tried on the scuba diving suit to make sure the sizes are correct before proceeding to the pool for training on how to wear and use the scuba set when inside the water. Everyone is excited and try their best to learn as much before the real dip out at sea.
Day 2 - Koh Sii, Koh Yawasam
I was very excited and could not sleep well the whole night. We had a relaxed boat trip to the destination and along the way, the instructor will refresh on the equipment checking procedure and brief us what we will be doing under water before we dive in. As this was the first time diving, everyone is trying to get the buoyancy control right but it was not easy. The instructor will try his best to ensure everyone is ok before starting the training.
Mainly for the first few dives, we would practice on what we learnt in the pool on the first day, things like the correct way of jumping from the boat to the sea, taking out the BCD underwater and putting it back on, how to ask for air supply from your buddy, how to clear water from the mask and etc. Practicing under the sea is much more difficult as compared to doing it in the pool. For me, the procedure I dislike most is taking the mask off and putting it back as I felt quite uncomfortable without the mask under the sea. However I still have to do it as it is part of the learning journey.
As we are all beginners, kicking the sand and making the environment "cloudy" is a norm for all of us. Everyone is still trying to grab the heavenly tactic of buoyancy control. The instructor will constantly point to our common mistakes like trying to use the hand to swim so as to balance ourselves, not keeping calm, holding breath, etc. At the end of the Day 2, the instructor briefed us again on our mistakes and also estimate the weight that we should bring for the next day dive. The weight for individual is very important to maintain the buoyancy as a beginner.
Day 3 - Koh Yawasam, Koh Yawabon
On the last day, we were introduced to the dive computer and its functionality on how it can help us to avoid decompression sickness. Everyone was issued one to try and learn how to read from it. Our main focus before we complete our course is to correct our buoyancy control! We went through the training that we did on Day 2 again to ensure that we are very well-versed with all the procedures.
By the end of the last dive, most of us have grasp about 70% to 80% on the correct buoyancy control (though sometimes still go haywire). Everyone was so happy to complete and earn the status of Open Water Diver after the 3 days!
In my opinion, diving is not easy even though I considered myself as a competent swimmer. It required lot of time, effort and practices especially to get the correct buoyancy control. Also to note that it is a dangerous sports if taken lightly so it is really important to remember all the training given by the instructor.
Sorry for the unclear photograph and video as I am using a basic underwater camera since I just started to learn diving. I have planned to get a better camera after my diving learning journey so that I can enjoy diving and hopefully take better pictures/video next time. I am already memorized by the pictures/video that I saw online by the real pros! Please recommend some camera model for me to acquire and not spend too much as a beginner. Thank you.