10th January – Koh Tao

First day of dive school!  And my group got to go in the pool first.  My fellow students are 4 girls, 2 german and  2 french, both of which came together leaving me the odd girl out.  First up was setting up equipment and learning the protocol before ever setting foot in the water.

You start with the tank.  You remove the cap and then check for an O ring (kept forgetting this part), before checking that it is actually full.  You then attach it to the buoyancy control (a jacket divers wear that can be filled with air) via the straps, then attach the regulators.  Once thats done, you have to make sure the BC works by filling it up automatically and manually, then breath through your primary and secondary regulators to make sure they’re working.  The BC set, you can put in on along with your weight belt and then go through the buddy checks to make sure everything’s in working order.

However, the class was a bit of a struggle, in that I was apparently the strongest student.  The 2 german girls really didn’t seem to want to be there (one was constantly complaining and the other kept talking and not paying attention).  They ended up causing about a 2 hour delay because of multiple mask problems – one of the girls mask kept leaking and she kept taking it off and trying to fix it.  Discovered late into the class once we’d swapped masks that I’d had the exact same problem – but hadn’t considered it class stop worthy.  The other 2 had some language problems that held them back too.

The lesson itself was very interesting though – it was mostly getting you used to breathing underwater continuously, and learning how to make yourself negative/neutral/positive buoyant, before going on to emergency procedures should anything go wrong underwater.  Not sure if its cause I was the only native English speaker or if I just had a knack, but I was definitely getting things a little faster than the others – though that said, I’ve never been a strong swimmer, but its its been a long time since I’ve been anything but comfortable in water, so that might have helped.

Because our class was having such hiccups, we spent a good 5 hours in that pool (and saw no less than 2 other classes get in and out in the time), and were so far behind our teacher (Per) had us order lunch to be eaten in the classroom, as we had some actual classwork to accomplish.
imageThis involved yet more dull-as-dirt videos, and Per explaining buoyancy and the dangers of diving via whiteboards.  Our exam was tomorrow and if we didn’t pass we couldn’t go diving, so it was important that we understood what he was saying.  This proved to be a little bit problematic for the class as well, as I was the only one who seemed to be aware that we had homework, so the other girls had to get the sheets and start from scratch tonight.

Realistically, I knew I should probably do the homework sheets then and there, and even asked some of the girls if they wanted to work on them, but they had immediate plans, and by the time they’d be available I had tentative plans with D and the guys we’d met, so ended up leaving them until later.  As it happens, D never appeared (though she had started working at a local bar so wasn’t too surprised) and went out for food with just one of the guys from the group yesterday.  Ended up in a local place that did incredible sweet and sour chicken…but took forever to bring it out.  They were clearly cooking every meal one at a time, so I was nearly done before my friends Shititake Mushrooms were ready.

Was exhausted from the pool and setting up equipment, but managed to wedge my eyes open long enough to finish up the homework sheets before passing out.  These ones were tricky too – one of the answers was in the index, not the chapter, and one answer wasn’t in the book at all…need to ask about it tomorrow.

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About Batale

I am an aspiring writer - though since I haven't written anything original in about 2 years, so calling me a writer is like calling a man who makes dinner every night a 5 star chef. I started this blog to force me to write. From the 1st January 2013, I intend to update this blog every day. If nothing interesting happens, I'll write about something that does interest me, whether that is a movie, a book, something I've heard about, or even some of my stories growing up.
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