|Photo credits: Glenn Cabeguin|
I am a natural sinker with zero knowledge in swimming, so you cannot blame me if I would really feel skeptical whether I should give it a try or not. Apart from that, I have also lots of questions in my mind like 'What if the regulator quit? What if I ran out of oxygen before I could get to the surface? In short, I feared of getting drowned. Who wouldn't be? Thinking about it makes me sick and all frightened.
But then, I was so curious why people get addicted to scuba diving. I oftenly heard from friends who had gone scuba diving that under the sea is totally a different world - a beautiful world. And for that, I am taking my risk and its time for me to overcome my fear!
Before the actual diving, Sir Glenn (one of our dive master) gave us a brief discussion about scuba diving. This includes the basic sign language, and ways to equalize pressure. After signing the waiver, we went to the shallow part of Hadsan Beach for the actual demonstration.
Well, I went down for about few minutes, scared to death, breathing that air out of the tank like there was no tomorrow. Proud to say that I am not one of those freak-out first timer. I remain calm and tried not to panic. Panicking under the water is a major no-no, that is why buddy system was implemented during our diving. Our first dive basically served as a preparation for our second dive which is more deeper.
During the second dive, I do not exactly know the depth but I am certain that its beyond my height. I went down deeper and deeper then all of a sudden, I noticed that there was no one following me. I lost the group! So I tried to swim back and find the rest of the group however, probably due to a strong current and poor visibility I was blown to a different direction. It was really hard navigating underwater if you do not have a compass. At this moment, I tried hard not to panic. I just kept on positive thoughts that this is going to be a wonderful experience. But, no matter how hard I tried to entertain only positive thoughts, I could feel my heart beats fast, my ears hurt, and I am pretty aware that I am using more air. I was like one breath closer to my last. I just keep on kicking towards the shore and from time to time look at the surface to check if I am going towards the shore. Then I saw Kim and Erick who were 'freediving' at that time. Thinking that the depth of the water was already within my height, I removed my mask as well as the regulator. This is a no-no in scuba diving. Never ever removed your gears or equipment while you are still in the water. I was blown by the waves and then the next time I knew I was already grasping for air. I tried to put back the regulator however, but rowdy water won't allow me to. Thanks God that Kim was there to rescue me and I immediately put back the regulator and mask.
Although I was not able to see stunning corals that resembles like a mushroom or encounter some underwater creatures like I have seen in pictures, I am still proud of myself that I was able to conquer my fear. I also had fun watching those bubbles burst forth from my regulator. Its like I was suspended in a limbo as I watched the bubbles dancing and what took my breath away is the surface that glimmered above. That is an indication that I just conquered my fear!
If you are apprehensive and scared about your first dive underwater, but have the adventurous spirit that keeps on telling you to give it a try, then wait for my next post as I will be writing my top tips for your first time scuba diving.