The weather was really not good during the first 3-days of the course.
On Saturday 25th October, it rained the whole day. Luckily for us, it was only the classroom session. The session was held in Borneo Divers main office in Menara Jubilee, Gaya Street. It started around 9.30am and ended at around 3.30pm.
Our MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) for the course was Merrilyn Semoring (aka May). Yeah… she’s one HOT SCUBA diver trainer. After introducing ourselves, paid the course fee and received our Open Water Diver Manual, log book & dive table, we started the session with a video. We finished all 5 chapters in the manual with all 5 videos. It really cuts the learning session short, as I don’t have to read the thick manual and dozes off just before lunch.
With the videos, May does not have to give any talks. She just need to get the computer running and answered our questions during the discussion. Honestly speaking, things that I have learned in underwater medicine was a whole lot difficult compared to this whole course knowledge.
When we finished the classroom session, the day is still wet. The rain continued till the next day.
On Sunday 26th October, we started our course with the the confine water session. Still, the weather was really not on our side when I arrived at Borneo Divers booth at Sutera Harbour. Borneo Divers boatman said the water in Mamutik was like ‘Milo’ – a local drinks which consist of cocoa and milk – a direct way of saying that the visibility underwater was bad. Our instructor, May said that we have to abort doing it in the island. Instead, she brought us to Sutera Harbour swimming pool where we learn all the open water skills.
Yay! I was really disappointed at the beginning as we could not do it the usual way in saltwater around Mamutik. But then, I changed my mind after the 2 and half hour lesson ended. The excellent visibility in the swimming pool really made our lesson smooth the whole session. If we were to go the island during that ‘gloomy’ weather, I was afraid that we would not be able to concentrate on the lesson because of the harsh wave & poor visibility. During the confine water session in the swimming pool, we were thought a lot of basic scuba diving skills that we have to learn and do. 2.5 hours in the water really made me freeze, tired and hungry. I went back home and drop dead (deep sleep) the whole night.
On Monday 27th October, a holiday for Malaysian, (Deepavali holiday) we went to Mamutik Island for our 1st open water session. It was a shore dive, means that we have to walk about 100 meters with our BCD, regulators and tank to the shore. The weather was still not good, but then, that was our only chance.
Oh, now I know how to put my fins on while in the water. My fins were the full foot type – means that it is more difficult to put it on compared to the open heel one.
The visibility was really bad. I think it’s only about 1 meters only at the surface. We went down to 10 meters, where the visibility was slightly better. The teaching session started again with more basic diving skills. May thought us how to sustain our neutral buoyancy in the water by controlling only our breath. It was really difficult at first, as I sunk on the sand on my first full exhale.
It was just a matter of controlling your low pressure inflator (LPI) to fill your BCD with just enough air to keep you neutrally buoyant – staying still in the water, not up or down – using only your inhale/exhale air. The second time I inhaled full breath, I was moving up, shooting like a rocket which my divemaster, Barye had to pull me down. I didn’t know why I could not let my body slowly descent back down then. Funny…
As the visibility was bad, Roslan did not take much photos. Yes, he followed us, from the start of the course till finished. He took a lot of videos in which quite hilarious to watch. You know it when you watched bunch of anxious divers (me and Rahman) doing a lot of funny movements in the water, trying very hard to get our buoyancy right underwater. Hahaha… I laughed myself when I saw my videos.
Anyway, we went through the day with 2 dives, in which with the second dive, I tried to tune up my buoyancy skills. I have to master ‘Hovering’; a skill that every diver should master, in which you control your buoyancy to stay still at one point in the water, without kicking or moving your arms. To tell you frankly, my buoyancy skill still sucks although I took the next 3 dives to practice. But I think it was a bit better last Sunday, 2nd November.