My Scuba Diving Journey
My entire scuba diving journey started off with a mundane day at work. I was burnt out since last week cos I OT-ed the entire week and it didn’t seemed like it was going to stop. I tried to distract myself from the hectic work schedule and took an hour break to recharge from the never-ending workload and re-looked at my next adventure.
This was when I remembered that the next item on my bucket list was to dive at the Great Barrier Reefs in Australia.
I stopped. I asked myself: What was stopping me from doing that? Time? No. Money? No. My internship was paying me enough to do what I wanted. I had all I needed to go for it.
Immediately, I rallied up a few friends with similar interests to embark on this adventure with me. We googled the scuba diving course Singapore and compared a few before we decided on Deep Blue Scuba in Clarke Quay.
And that was where it all began…
Open Water Diver Course
Looking forward to dive was what kept me going everyday during my internship. I counted down to the number of days to the next theory lesson, to the next pool session and to the actual trip to Tioman Island itself!
I thoroughly enjoyed the theory lesson ‘cos the instructor Raymond was so friendly and approachable. Learnt about the basics of diving and did a lot of math. The pool session was my first experience underwater for a prolonged period - and phew I’m so glad that I came out alive!
But the actual trip to Tioman - now that is the highlight. You know you are having a lot of fun when the 3hr bus ride + 2hr ferry ride didn’t felt that long at all. We chatted, we fooled around, we sang and we had lots of fun on our way there. We made so many friends even before we started diving.
Our instructor Xiu Fang and DM Huilin ensured that we were in good hands, taught us all we needed to learn and allowed to roam in a very safe environment. Never did I feel uncomfortable at any point of time during the trip.
The water was clear and visibility was awesome. We saw lots of fishes, corals and a triggerfish which was supposedly dangerous. But I personally enjoyed the most was not the marine life that it offered, but that feeling of calmness when you are floating in the water. It felt free and liberating and instantaneously, I could feel my troubles from work all gone.
I knew from then, that this will not be my last time diving.
Advance Adventure Course
A month after our open water course, we could not forget the feeling of diving. We hungered for more. And it is as though it was all planned out for us when MV Nautica was having a promotion for their Advanced Adventure course.
Advanced Adventure Course + Live Onboard a ship for 3 days? Why not?
We went to Deep Blue Scuba, asked for information and immediately signed up for it on the same day! Did we regret? Hell no.
We departed from Punggol Marina Country Club on a Friday night. The sea journey was more comfortable as compared to the land journey because all you had to do was to board the boat, eat, sleep and before you know it, you are at Tioman.
It felt special to be able to just sit at the deck with comfortable cushions and looking at the vast blue sea. It is simply beautiful and serene. The entire trip could be summarised with the following: Eat, Dive, Eat, Dive, Eat, Sleep, Dive, Eat, Dive, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. It was that simple.
For advanced open water we were required to do more skills such as navigation, deep diving, drift diving, night diving that our instructor Duncan had patiently taught amidst our usual fooling around.
My favourite part was the deep dive. We went to a 28m depth and did a simple game before slowly ascending and did our safety stop. Being deep down in the ocean could be intimidating but it was exciting and fun at the same time!
SSI Diver Stress and Rescue
Immediately after my advanced open water, I went for my exchange programme in Korea. Throughout my 5 months there, I was constantly bitten by the “dive bug”, urging me to dive more. A week after my return, I went back to Deep Blue Scuba for a visit and decided to make a decision - to take up my Rescue Diver Course.
For rescue diving, it was slightly more complex as we had to do a SSI React Right theory lesson, a SSI Diver Stress and Rescue Theory, a pool session to learn all the required skills before we could go for our rescue trip.
We were super lucky for our rescue trip as we got to see most of the good stuff at Tioman - shark, turtle, puffer fish and a huge ass moray eel the size of our heads! The drills that we did on the surface were realistic and tested our ability to react. In between the drills, we did a few dives and explored the underwater world. Before you thought you could rest after a dive, another emergency situation hits you again!
This time it was a “unconscious” diver underwater. We had to conduct search for him and bring him to the surface. We had to conduct rescue breaths and bring him safely back to the boat before administering CPR and O2. And you thought that it couldn’t be any worse, the “kaypoh” advanced open water divers (planted) came to disturb and the “panicking” diver wife was worried sick. Luckily we did well for that situation and all is well in the end. Michael woke up, Karen was happy, we were happy and Darrell, our instructor, was also happy.
To be able to react well in an emergency situation is what the Rescue Diver Course empowered us to do.
Even though I’ve been diving for close to a year, I know that my journey has only begun. There is so much more to learn, so much to see and you will never know how will the next adventure be because each one is unique in its ways. There will be new friends to make, new places to explore and new lessons every time you dive. The underwater world is a mysterious yet magical place and we have only explored the tip of it. Diving made me fall in love with the sea even more than before. And I really want to thank Deep Blue Scuba for introducing me to such a friendly and welcoming community. Thank you and see you again for our next dive trip!