The amazing thing about learning to dive was how scary it wasn’t. I was prepared to be freaked out when it really hit me that I was breathing underwater and that I was not going to surface anytime soon. But when I got down to the ocean floor with all the gear on, it just seemed kind of normal.
Even the underwater skills we had to learn – how to find your air hose if it falls out of your mouth, how to breathe using your buddy’s extra mouthpiece, etc. – were more like games than chores. I think the fact that I’ve snorkeled a fair amount helped; it’s easier if you’re already used to breathing with your face in the water and clearing water from the hose just using your breath.
The truly scary part was getting out to the boat. The pier had partially collapsed (three years ago, a local guy told me) and never been repaired.
Going out and back required scrambling down one side using the gaps between boards as a ladder, walking over on three wobbly planks, and climbing up the other side. This got even trickier when the tide was up or somebody had dripped oil on the boards.
The payoff for all that, of course, was diving. On our last day we went to a pretty cool reef off Tatawa Island, in Komodo National Park. Photos in the next post!