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My First Ever Scuba Diving at Redang

I had done the unthinkable in Redang Island. Guess what, I went for scuba diving for the first time ever in my life! What have prompted me to do so? Well, I always like to see the underwater world more closely. And more particularly, I want to have closer encounter with deep sea marine life such as sea turtles, sharks and barracudas which is an impossible task via snorkeling.

Previously, I tried to take up scuba diving course in both Phuket and Sabah, but to no avail. Discover Scuba Diving course in Phuket is conducted not in open sea, but in a man made pool. I prefer my first ever scuba diving experience to be in open sea. Furthermore, learning scuba diving in a pool has no fun at all, agree? As for Sabah, I got no time to do so during my last visit there.

Off I went to see my instructor after done with my snorkeling on the first day. I took up the PADI Discover Scuba Diving course at the cost of RM160 per person. PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors and is the world’s leading scuba diving training organization with more than 40 years experience in the business. My friend and Foong did not join me. Foong does not swim while my friend claimed that he cannot swim well. Oh heck, I am not a good swimmer too! Perhaps I was just more die-hard than 2 of them!

My instructor told me he is from China. We conversed in Mandarin throughout the whole session. I forgot his name though. But he is a nice young chap, helping me a lot with how to use scuba equipment and breathe underwater. First, he taught me how to breathe underwater using the diving regulator coupled to a pressurized gas cylinder. He then taught me ear clearing techniques to equalize the pressure in the middle ear with the outside pressure. Air pressure increases in proportion to depth. Clearing the ears is important because your ears could feel pain as you descend into the water. My instructor also taught me how to wear my face mask properly, as well as how to clear sea water inside the mask should any of them get into the mask during diving. This is important to avoid irritation in the eyes. Lastly, he also taught me some underwater communications using hand signals. We cannot talk underwater, can we?

I thought I was all set for my first ever scuba diving until he handed me a paper to sign. I had to complete the PADI medical questionnaire and sign the Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement. The first sentence sent a chill down my spine!

“I (participant name), ______________, hereby affirm that I am aware that skin and scuba diving have inherent risks which may result in serious injury or death

The instructor also explained to me some dangers and hazards of scuba diving such as injuries due to changes in air pressure and oxygen toxicity, just to name a few. I started to realize how unsafe is the activity I was going to undertake. For once I understood why my friend and Foong turned down flat my invitation to join me. Should I or should I not proceed? I had reached a point of no return but to…

My First Ever Scuba Diving at Redang picture redang escapade  photo

That's me posing underwater!

To be continued…

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