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Scuba

Open Water Day 2

semi-overcast 27 °C

Before scuba class, we got our 7-11 breakfast, a hard-boiled egg filled croissant and the ham and cheese classic for Ryan. When we made it to the dive shop for 8:30, the German girls weren't there so we reviewed our homework with our instructor to go over specifically what pressure did to air size and density, then emergency procedures, equipment specifics and what to do when swimming with currents.

We watched a scuba video from the nineties in main area of the shop when the German girls arrived. After that it was time to write a quiz, which we both did pretty well on. I just had to remember to swim into a current at the start of a dive so it would carry you back.

We got a long lunch break where we tried out the cafe on the other side of the dive shop called Zest. It had good sandwiches with grilled veggies or pepper ham and the food came out fast, a plus when on a tight schedule. The cinnamon rolls were heavenly.

We opted not take motion sickness tablets today and the waves were a bit calmer. We returned to Buddha point and were one of the first groups to get their gear on. We did our buddy checks following the acronym BWRAF also remembered by the phrase: Bruce Willis Rocks All Films. It was similar to yesterday's checks except this time I was checking Ryan's gear and vise versa.

BCD: inflate, deflate, orally inflate, then pull the emergency release to deflate and check the clips and straps are done up.

Weights: make sure it's a right hand release so they can come off in an emergency.

Regulator: Your buddy checks the yellow secondary by both smelling the air and taking a few breaths. Check your own and monitor the air gauge.

Air: Check buddy's tank is open and half a turn back as well as secured with the straps.

Final Check: Fins? Mask? Go time!

Ryan and I took our time doing the checks to make sure we didn't miss anything. Our instructor then showed us how to do a fall in entry. We kept our legs straight, looked up and leaned back. I wasn't the biggest fan watching it but it was okay to try. I still preferred the stride.

Our skills that day were a bit more intense. We had to fill our mask completely with water then clear it. Having a flooded mask was a bit intimidating, especially when you fill it slowly, so I ended up coughing and swallowing a bit of salt water. Surprisingly my eyes didn't burn as much as I expected. Ryan did his like a pro.

We had to remove our weight belts and put them back on. Ryan shot to the surface when his came off and our instructor had to pull him back down. He used up a lot of air struggling to re-secure his belt. We took off the BCD vest after too. When I did that, my weight belt got caught and made it really tricky. I was surprised our instructor didn't pick up on that during the last exercise and a bit let down by our safety standards today. Ryan finished the dive quite low on air, and the rest of us too since we had the usual wait for the German sister to panic after most exercises then get talked into completing her skills.

We took a break on the boat with cookies and water before getting our gear ready a second time with newly filled oxygen tanks. Our second set of skills involved some buddy skills like emergency breathing from our buddy's regulator. We also practised what to do if we ran out of air. Our instructor turned off our air to simulate it and as soon as we gave him the signal that we experienced it, he'd turn it back on. It took me a few breaths after he turned it off to get the empty breath.

We also practised buoyancy control. At the bottom, we'd empty our BCD of air and lay at a 45 degree angle. We kept adding little bursts of air until the point that we'd rise on our inhalation and sink with the exhalation, though with a slight delay. I wasn't really able to get the hang of it and was a bit disappointed we left that skill as is.

For the final bit of the dive, we swam deeper, to 11.8 metres, to go see some coral and fish. Many were similar to the ones we'd seen yesterday. A longfin bannerfish swam around and there was a clam as well. The coral types were boulder and mushroom. Soon the second dive was up as our air got to the red 50 bars and we were back on the boat. Back at the shop we filled in our dive log books to track what we saw, our depth and dive time and the visibility (low at 5-6 metres).

For supper, we went back to the cheap Thai place. Ryan got his sought after coconut shake, every bit as delicious as he remembered and I switched to mango. We shared a green curry and fried tofu with peanut sauce, both of which were quite tasty. The restaurant stayed quite busy with a mix of Thai and foreign patrons. Back at the room we still had to fight with the dodgy wifi, but luckily we had no big homework assignment to complete.

Posted by Sarah.M 12:07 Archived in Thailand Tagged fish boat padi scuba dive koh tao open_water rough_ocean

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