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Winter Vacation - Puerto Galera, the Philippines 2007/01/08

We were sure we were going to die.. again


View Winter Vacation 2006 on agc_cwm's travel map.

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Today was the first day we went into the water. We went to the dive shop at 9:00am. We reviewed how to set up the gear and got sized up to see what we needed. Then it was straight into the water. We were told that the water is usually pretty calm. But not for us. It was very rough and the blue sky was nothing but clouds. Andrew wasn't sure if he was going to make it. I guess he almost left a couple of times. First, he felt claustrophobic. Then he had some problems equalizing his ears. He just didn't think he could do it. He eventually got underwater and was alright from then. We then started doing the dive skills. We had to take our regulator out, drop it, and retrieve it. We had to fill our masks up part way and clear them (which I, to this day, am still deathly afraid of doing). We also had to take an alternate air source from a buddy. After theser skills, we swam around for a whlie to a maximum depth of 8m. I saw some cool corals and some fish, but I was a little panicked being under the water again. And poor Andrew was too nervous to look at anything at all, and wasn't convinced that scuba was for him.

After we got out of the water, we rinsed our gear and broke for lunch. We went back to the shop at 1:15. I was diving at 1:30, and Andrew was going to spend the afternoon watching another video and doing some more skills in the water afterward.

Well, my second dive of the trip did not start as smoothly as I would have liked. I had a bit of a panic attack near the surface as we were descending. I just bobbed at the surface for a while until I was slightly more comfortable. Simon, the dive master, really helped me regulate my breathing. This was the first dive in my advanced course, so I had to complete a few buoyancy skills. I was overweighted, so I had a little difficulty doing a couple of them. After the skills, we just swam around the reef for a bit. There was lots to see (nudibranchs, morays, puffers) but I was really focussed on keeping my breathing under control and staying relaxed, so I didn't enjoy it all as much as I might otherwise. Surfacing was a real relief, and at day's end, even I was apprehensive about what anxiety the next day of diving would bring.

When I got back, Andrew was just about to go into the water for more skills. It was calm when they started getting ready. but by the time they went in, the waves were bigger than they had been in the morning. They had the do a snorkel exchange, which he said didn't go very well at all. Their instructor also turned off their air on the bottom so they would know what it felt like. After that, they had to do a full mask clearing. He sort of did it, but I guess the instructor had to hold him down and get him to finish it. They were going to do more, but he said the instructor was getting frustrated, they were freaked out, and the sea was angry. They got out of the water, and Andrew was pretty sure scuba was not for him.

Upon post-dive rendezvous, we ate some dinner, read some more in our respective books, and worried ourselves to sleep.

Posted by agc_cwm 03:52 Archived in Philippines

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