I did it! I completed my scuba open water certification this past weekend (Aug 10).
Four open water dives in the outer harbor of Geomun island, which is located an hour ferry ride south of the Southern coast of the Korean peninsula. This is pretty popular with divers, as there are three dive resorts on the island. There was plenty to see underwater, the visibility about 5 meters, and the water warm enough so I didn’t wear a full wet suit. Three dives on Sat and one on Sun morning.
Had a high level of anxiety going in my first dive… the salt water, currents, waves,… it took some getting used to. I had to stop and pause a couple times before heading in. Did some skill sets, then up. About 20 mins under.
Second dive went a lot more smoothly. Easier entry, much more comfortable in the water. My leg cramped up, which was a little ironic, as one of the skills we went over was how to remove a leg cramp. 😛 In fact, my instructor had more issues due to his BCD getting stuck in the “dump” position. These two dives, once in the water and looking around, was very neat. Lot of different types of kelp and seaweed, fishes, starfishes, sea urchins, so much to see and it was pretty colorful, from the bright green of the seaweed to the neon orange on the starfish.
We all had lunch, BCD got fixed, rested, then back in for the third dive of the day.
For this dive, we went to the otherside of the breakwall, the water was clear, and we were hoping to see different stuff. Got out, then felt a bit ill. Even though we had rested for almost three hours between the 2nd and 3rd dives, I think the amount of food I ate was bugging me. Feeling gassy, and a bit bloated, my instructor and I floated a bit until I had done a quite of bit of burping to feel ok enough to continue. This time, we used a line to descend, which was good, as the stomach issues heightened my anxiety. Went down, and practiced more skills, including the controlled emergency ascent (which is when you go up slowly, with only one breath) and the full mask flood. Both of which was really didn’t like. But that went well, much more than I had thought, and we then swam about, looking the marine life. Very cool. A bit less colorful than the first two dives, but I saw some huge fish. And three other people were diving with us on this one, and we got some underwater photos taken of us. 🙂
After 38 minutes, I was fine, and had a half a tank of air left when I couldn’t equalize the pressure in my left ear. After signaling to the group, my instructor and I slowly went up with me constantly trying to equalize the pressure in my ears. All of a sudden, I felt a sharp pop in my left ear, and things felt a little better. After we surfaced, it turned out that the other three people in our group were pretty low on air, so even if my ear wasn’t an issue, we would have surfaced pretty soon.
I was so tired! Good thing that my last dive was the next day. 7am in the morning. Ugh…
But it was back to the place where I did my first two dives, and the morning was completely different. The water was slightly cooler, a bit choppier. But the marine was too. There were schools of fish just hanging out in the water, and I saw a starfish eating a sea urchin! So cool. I wished I had an underwater camera to capture that. There was an old concrete object that had become a place for mussels, huge ones! We ate one, and it was so much better than the ones I had eaten at the raw bar. It was also a treat as we got to see some pretty neat fish as they swarmed to eat the remains of the mussel we had eaten. I saw a box fish, and it was so oddly square, it was surreal.
Now, I’m about to leave to head to Jeju Island for a week’s vacation. I just may go scuba diving there. 🙂