I love the idea of scuba diving but turns out it is much harder than it looks. I guess I should have known that scuba diving would be hard for me. First of all when I watch people underwater on TV or a movie I can’t help but hold my breath and guess what’s the number one rule when you scuba dive? You guessed it, never hold your breath! That should have been clue number one that today would not go the way Chris and I had hoped.
Chris and I signed up for a discover scuba class from Kon Tiki in Ao Nang, where an instructor teaches you a few basic skills and then takes you down to see the marine life. Sounds easy doesn’t it!?
We take a two hour boat ride to Phi Phi Island and it was a lovely trip with a very informative session on how to work the equipment and hand signals just in case of emergency. I’m feeling nervous at this point but not as freaked out as I was this morning before we left. After our info session, we are able to enjoy the rest of the ride to the island, which was so relaxing that I could have slept on the boat the entire day.
We make it to the first dive site and suit up. Good Lord is that stuff is heavy but after a few people helped me to stand I was ready to jump in or so I thought… We walk to the edge of the boat where you are suppose put the regulator in your mouth, place one hand over the mask and regulator and the other hand on your weight belt and then take one big step into the water. I get to the edge and chicken out. I ask if Chris can go first so I can watch and finally after he jumps in I feel more confident that I won’t sink with all of this extra weight.
We get to our first spot and we have to do our basic skills that we learned on the boat. Chris does a great job and now it’s my turn. First, I can’t get my ears to pop (ouch), once I do the next skill is take the regulator out of my mouth and blow bubbles and then put it back in. You want me to do what!? Take my air supply out of my mouth and then exhale? Surprisingly it’s a little harder to wrap your head around taking out the piece of equipment that helps you to survive this experience. After a minute, I get the courage and do it no problem. Yes skill one mastered! Next up do the same thing again but you have to throw the regulator over your shoulder and find it again. Skill two mastered. I’m feeling better about this whole scuba thing now. Last skill is to take your mask off of your face enough to let water in and the blow it out. Yup this is where everything went very badly for me. I couldn’t get it figured out without inhaling water and then panic set in. I ripped the regulator out of my mouth, more water is coming in now and I start kicking and clawing to get to the surface, at this point I am done! After panic sets in and I was already so nervous I couldn’t get it in my head to keep going. All I could think about was “I am freaking out only a little bit under the water what happens if I am down lower and mess up.”
I made it back to the boat and enjoyed the rest of the day taking pictures, writing and talking with an American for the rest of the afternoon and to be honest I had a really lovely day and Chris was able to dive with the instructor without worrying about me so it was a win-win! Although I didn’t have the same scuba experience as Chris, I did do something awesome and that was to take my first breaths under water-now that’s an accomplishment!
- Kon Tiki is an excellent service that I highly recommend. The next time we are in Krabi we will most definitely use them again! They were professional, especially kind when I had my little freak out and very encouraging to not give up the desire to learn how to scuba dive! I especially appreciated how you have one instructor for your group of two.
- According to Chris: It was awesome and it is definitely something everyone should try.
- If you are more nervous like I am I would recommend doing your first scuba lessons and skills in a pool instead of open water. I think this is what had me so worried but I genuinely want to make scuba diving a regular event for my family and I will be taking the classes and mastering the skills in the pool before my next attempt.