May 5, 2008

Scuba Diving Lessons

Finally, I was able to enroll in a scuba diving class. Me and my friends - Joan and Joel particularly, have been planning a diving trip to Coron, Palawan, and my lack of license is what's been holding us back.

I signed up together with James to Scuba Boy, and Mark Genuino is our PADI-certified instructor. We met for about an hour last Friday for some introductions and instructions, but the pool session was scheduled yesterday at a pool in Makati.

I was pretty much confident about the lessons, I have taken a skin diving class before - so my finning is OK, I know how to equalize, I know some of the hand signals - but I am still excited with learning new things. We get to learn how to prepare the Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), use the dive planner and other devices such as the regulators and the pressure gauges, and being able to breathe underwater for the first time is quite a experience (we have the mantra "breathe continuously").

I was able to do all the exercises, with a few minor hiccups - one literally when I swallowed water during a regulator removal exercise, and another when we are about to surface and I inflated my BCD and kicked hard to ascent. I got warned not to do it again as I might get 'bends' if I ascend too quickly. Other than that the first session was a blast - tiring but great nonetheless.

We have two more pool sessions before our checkout dive in Anilao on the 17th, and I am looking forward to it and finally getting my license.

(pics, from top: me on a scuba gear, our BCD's on the pool during a break, James, the manual and dive planner).

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