Published: January 2nd 2012January 2nd 2012
We had to be at the scuba shop by 8:00am so we were up at 7 and our hostel fixed us a breakfast of bread with pineapple jam and an egg. I always enjoy how people do breakfast in warm climates. Lots of fruit and bread. Once everything got settled at the scuba shop, we had to carry our gear out to the beach and then carry it out to the boat. I carried my dry stuff (clothes, towel, purse) on my head, which worked out pretty well. We drove out to an island around the city and our first task was to swim 200m and back. Which seemed fairly simple at first. But as soon as we got in the water, the winds picked up. And they had neglected to tell us that there were coral and rocks pretty close to the surface. So we all got a little banged up. Joel and I got the worst of it. He hit his back, elbows, and the bottoms of his feet. I hit my legs/ankle, arm, and tops of my feet. We treated them with rubbing alcohol and iodine as instructed.
Our first dive was skills-oriented and went smoothly.
Joel and I had done almost all of them in our Discover Scuba class in Malaysia. The second time we went down, however, everything was going well until I had trouble equalizing and then I kept rising and rising. I surfaced with an ENORMOUS headache. I got reverse block, which everything I had read said was pretty rare. It basically means that you got air trapped in your head and as you rise the air expands, pushing outwards on the tissue.
We ate lunch on the beach and I was told to keep massaging my face until the air worked its way out. It wasn’t working, so after lunch, my instructor and I went on our own dive where I concentrated exclusively on breathing and my head. It took forever because we kept going down and up and down and up. We’d go down, I’d be OK and then we’d go up again and the pain in my head and teeth would get stronger. So we’d try again and go deeper. Repeatedly. After I finished, I got to rest on the boat with the people who did Discover Scuba (Brittney, Lindsey, divemaster candidate Viktor, and instructor Bart) while the
other Open Water certification people (Joel, Sam, divemaster candidate Maija, and instructor Iane) went on a fun-dive. It was a lot of fun talking to Viktor and Maija. Viktor is Spanish and Maija is Finnish. They lived in Madrid for 4 years before coming to the Philippines. I don’t know how many languages Viktor speaks, but Maija speaks 6 or 7. I was so jealous.
After scuba, we went to a famous French restaurant (seems quite random to me, but it was delicious! And very French. And everyone who eats there gets a free shot, so Joel liked it.) We got to order fish from the catch-of-the-day board (Mahi Mahi in coconut sauce for about 5 dollars? Yes, please) and got strange looks when we ordered cheese as an appetizer instead of right before dessert. The restaurant was right up next to the beach, and the tide is really high at night, so waves kept crashing into the wall of the restaurant and getting the people nearest wet. Which was funny until the waves started getting bigger and we started getting wet too. Then it was time to leave.
There are more photos below