PADI Open Water Certified!March 19, 2016 in Malaysia
Surprise! We did decide to do something interesting and exciting while on Tioman Island. We took a SCUBA course and are now certified to do open water dives up to 18 meters deep! We just finished up our five day course this morning with a team dive and then got to do an extra fun dive at another site (as there had been some logistical problems earlier in the week). Included are pictures of us with our instructor James, as well as an imperfect selfie of our six person dive class (from left to right: Nick, Rachel, Ace, Lester, Hasiq, and Franz). Though the class felt kind of large at times, we had a great group of guys with whom to learn and get to know. We also made some friends the first night at a beach bar (Neshay, Pable, and Eva) and spent many subsequent evenings with them (when we got out of dive class early enough!). Everyone we've met on the island has been nice, with friendly locals and low-maintenance other tourists.
So, we've spent most of the week in the water or in the classroom. With a couple 10-12 hour course days, there isn't much else to report. However, we've seen a TON of aquatic life. The bay on which this town sits is excellent for driving, snorkeling, and instruction. On most days, we had great visibility underwater and could see 8-10 meters away. Aside from many varieties of coral, anemones, sea cucumbers, and as-yet-unidentified tropical fish, there were definitely some sightings we want to share on here. We saw bat fish, two types of sea turtles, two types of sea snakes, a porcupine fish, a map puffer fish, a school of barracuda, parrot fish, titan triggers (really large and colorful), and blue spot rays. Once we got the hang of diving, it was super cool. We both really enjoy it, though after five days of it we are ready for a short break. We'll spend this afternoon and all day tomorrow relaxing on the beach (and maybe do a quick snorkel in front of our chalet where there is another reef for us to explore). We are both really excited about the new doors this course has opened for us, and we're already planning our next dive in a couple weeks!Read more