Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Unforgettable Redang May 2008 (Part 3)

3 May 2008 (Saturday)

For breakfast, I ate noodle instead of nasi lemak. I also took porridge and a piece of toast with butter and jam.

I had a relaxing stroll along the beach. This time I went to the left side of Redang Bay Resort. There are also 4 resorts along this side but one of them is unoccupied. The construction seems completed but heard that the owner wants to sell it.

After the stroll, it was time to send the divers off. Then, I went back to the chalet – prayed for 40 minutes and watched C. I. B. Files episodes until lunch time.

The divers arrived back very late – about 2 pm. I couldn’t wait for them, so I ate lunch on my own. Only Seng Chor and Florence joined me but they didn’t take rice. Florence ate only fish. Seng Chor ate more. Because the food is cold already, they ordered something else from the shops outside.

Bad news - My life jacket from the resort was stolen from the Dive Centre. I left it in the basket together with the rest of their diving stuffs. On the first day, I took it to the chalet but I decided to leave it in the Dive Centre the next day. It was a bad decision indeed. I prayed that somehow the person would return it so that I would not be fined.

As usual, after lunch it was C. I. B. Files marathon until tea time. I had 2 cakes, 2 small buns, red bean soup and a cup of tea. It’s too bad that the divers missed their afternoon tea again. My fun dive was scheduled at 5:30 pm after their final rescue dive practical. Woohoo!

The swimming pool was not occupied. I practiced for about half an hour. My hands and legs coordination improved. I could manage for 4 swings – right, left, right and left. Previously, it was only 2 or 3. I was really happy with my achievements. I didn’t use the snorkeling gear. When people started to arrive at the pool, I headed for the sea. No life jacket, so I was really careful that I don’t go to deep. Yesterday, I went too deep and I nearly panicked. Only my toes could touch the bottom. I moved slowly to the shallow end. Phew!

It was 5:30 pm but still no sign of the divers. I waited and waited. When they eventually arrived, they had to complete the rescue diver practical sessions first. So, I waited and waited again. It was about 6:45 pm.

The Highlight
Finally, I heard the call, “Christine.” I went over to the dive site. I borrowed most of the diving equipment from Florence:
  • BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) with Oxygen tank

  • Regulator

  • Boots

  • Fins
I borrowed the mask and weight belt from Seng Chor. I couldn’t really sink without the weight belt. Three of them had to help me put on the diving gear. Florence helped me with the BCD and the boots. The guys assisted me in putting on the fins and weight belt. I felt like a queen. Hehehe! Next, Che Leong taught me some skills:

a) Regulator Recovery
It is essential that I know how to recover the regulator if it accidentally fell off from my mouth.
The steps:
  1. Take the regulator out from my mouth

  2. Blow some bubbles

  3. Place the regulator back to my mouth and blow again (just in case got water)
After a few trials, I was successful. I showed the ‘ok’ sign with my hands whenever I succeeded in performing the skill.

b) Clearing the Mask
  1. Fill the mask with water half way from the top.

  2. Tilt my head.

  3. Drain the mask by breathing out through my nose, from the bottom of the mask through a small gap.
This was tough. I managed to do it well only after 4 or 5 attempts.
As a sign of my success, Che Leong shook my hand.

c) Dealing with ear pressure
This was interesting. When my ears get painful because of the pressure, I need to hold my nose tightly and blow, and ears would go, “Pop”. That will stop the pain.

The Real Thing
I’m ready! Seng Chor was ready with the camera. I dived! At first, I couldn’t see much. It was also getting dark – 7 pm already. There were not many fishes around. I tried to kick as much as I could. After the dive, I found out that Che Leong was holding up my tank most of the time because I was sinking and wasn’t really moving forward. Poor him! It was tiring for him. At one time, I was so scared because there was a dark area, that I held his hand for quite a distance. It happened after I saw a Potato Garoupa. Next, Che Leong pointed to a baby shark. It was a Black Tip. It disappeared behind the coral quite fast. According to the divers, I was extremely blessed to see shark at this depth. Throughout the dive, he kept asking me whether I was ok or not using the hand signal. I ‘popped’ my ears a few times. It was interesting. Seng Chor was busy taking photos of me. I even posed with the ‘ok’ hand signal. Hehehe! We dived one round the corals.

The dive lasted for only about 10 – 15 minutes. It was one of bravest things that I have ever done and I am really proud of myself. If nothing happens, I will go for the PADI Open Water Diver Certification in July. Hopefully, Che Leong will not be scared to be my instructor. Hehehe!

Achievements for the day:
• Swimming with more hand strokes
• Snorkeled without life jacket
• First dive and saw shark

Praise the Lord!

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