When you think of Australia what do you think of? Sydney Opera House? Kangaroos? The Outback? Well, I too think of those but there is one more you should be thinking of, the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef has become an icon of Australia and is something you’re always told to go and see. The best way to see it? Scuba diving of course, and that is exactly how I plan on seeing it this week. In order to scuba dive to the depth of the Reef which can be ~18 meters deep, you need to be trained properly.
It was time that I became certified to breath underwater.
Like any course or education, you have to learn the theory behind it. This theory starts in the classroom, so bright and early on Wednesday morning, I was in the classroom eager to learn and start the journey to becoming a certified scuba diver.
There were 8 people in the course including myself. We sat in this room watching videos, reading the textbook and completing quizzes. I learned quite a bit in this room, I never knew there was so much to learn about Scuba Diving. The classroom covered everything from gear, how long you can stay at a depth, how long you have to wait before flying, and all the hand signals one could ever need underwater. But enough of the classroom let’s start diving!
This course I was doing was 3 full days of scuba in order to go from knowing nothing to being a certified open water diver. It got broken down to a classroom and a pool session on Wednesday, 2 dives in the ocean on Thursday and 2 dives on Friday. The pool session was where we got to find out what it was really like to be under water and practice skills in a controlled environment before heading to open ocean where we would really be put to test.
I think we spent ~2 hours in the pool, and let me tell you if you are ever trying to be certified it isn’t fast and it isn’t fun (but in the ocean is another story).
On Thursday we were finally going to the ocean and diving in. We got to the dive school at 7 am and had to move fast to ensure we made the window for diving. We got our gear together, loaded up the boat and headed out to the ocean. We dove to a depth of around 10 meters and practiced all the skills we had previously learned in the pool. We had to practice skills that included clearing a mask that became full of water, under water navigation, buoyancy control and swimming with a partner.
Friday was pretty much the same as Thursday, but the only difference was having to write a final exam (which I passed with flying colours). I got the fancy dancy temporary card to make it official.
This little piece of paper made it official. I was certified to breathe under water. Now I just have to see the reef.