Today we did an arrangement with Dugong Dive Center for a discovery diving package with them. Discovery diving does not let you certified as a qualified diver, but it let you learn the diving basic and experience the feeling of doing an actual dive in the mystery underwater world. This serve as a better option for beginner to experience and only decide whether if they really love the experience and proceed to be certified as a PADI diver. 3 of us never did diving before, hence this is the best option for us.
We head to the same port yesterday after our breakfast and our boatmen already wait for us there. Dugong diving center based at El Rio Y Mar resort, which we also pass by during our island hopping yesterday. Mary and Mike, our instructors give us a warm welcome with did help to relieve our stress prior to the actual dive. Yes, we did felt stress, but on another hand, it was also full of excitement, as we are about to do something that we never did before in our life!
Mike guide us to a TV room to show us a video on introductory to diving and also basic safety guide. Once done, we have to sign an agreement letter to do the dive, and we back to the swimming pool to learn the basic before heading toward the actual sea.
Lion full of excitement to try something new today.
Briseis looked stress while on the way.
Wefie, we are almost there.
There it is, El Rio Y Mar resort.
It was so hot~
Mike help us to get suitable equipment for for each of us, including the gas tank, dive suit, goggle, and diving fins based on our size. I have minor shortsighted eyes and I am glad they did provide goggle with suitable degree adjustment for divers to choose from. We sitting on the pool side and Mike start to guide us the correct way to wear those equipment, and the basic underwater communication hand sign and important notes before the practical.
Mike is handling myself and Lion while Mary is escorting Briseis on the training, and soon the actual dive as well. It start with the correct way of breathing underwater, which suppose to be using the mouth and not the nose. This was kinda tough for me as we opt to use nose for so long already, but honestly once you overcome this, everything become easy. Overall we very much cover the practical training for breath, cleaning the goggle underwater, equalizing the pressure, and how to properly moving in the water. Wow, we are ready for the real action out there in the sea by now!
Wearing the diving fins.
Dugong dive center.
Full of excitement~
And stress too....
Mike giving us tutorial on the basic and important notes.
Focus and learn.
Lion worried face.
Practical in the pool. Photo credited to Magic5.
Equipment on, here we go!
We will be jump off from here.
Time for some real action!
Mary was handling Briseis one by one hence it is not much issue, they went down and do the proper equalization on the pressure slowly then it seem went well for Mary to hold her and start to explore the underwater world here. But it was not that simple for Mike to handle both Lion and myself at the same time as expected, hence we went into some problem that we have to re-surface our self to cover the pressure and breathing issue, for twice. Lion start to felt worried if she can really do it or not, hence decided to have a rest first on the port while Mike escort me down.
Our second try, thought it went well but Lion still having issue on the proper breathing hence we have to re-surface.
We start to go down, slowly into deeper depth of the reef and I start to feel pressure coming from my ears. Suppose we have to do equalize once every few feet into the sea but it was so hurt and worried for me, hence I keep doing it non-stop! I nearly want to give up and re-surface again but a school of fishes that swim just in front of me, distract my worried and make me feel calm, it was so amazing as they are just few meters away from me! That was the time I am in depth of around 8-10 meters, near to maximum depth allow for discovery dive of 12 meters, and the pressure had been overcome. I feel good and signal that to Mike, and here start my first exploration under the sea.
Here we go!
School of fishes marching to welcome me down here~
How crowded they are moving along there!
It was so near that I can almost touch them with my hand.
Can you count the number of the fishes here?
Swimming toward the deeper sea.
I am not sure what is the name of this fish though.
Look, someone is there....
It was Mary guiding Briseis on her dive there!
Unknown fish around the reef.
My 1st diving video~
It was a totally different underwater world under 8-12 meters.
Another unknown fish wandering around.
Beautiful coral reef underwater!
A big coral reef.
Many small fish wandering around.
Beautiful reef with blue fishes around it.
Stay relax to enjoy the moment.
Many blue fishes playing around the coral reef.
See carefully, big school of small fishes here!
Finally a fish that I recognize, parrot fish~
Definitely need a better camera underwater, but worth to capture the moment down there.
The photo is not clear, but there are lots of small fishes here as well.
Coral with unique appearance.
Fish with zebra stripes.
Detected a big fish~
Beautiful platform of coral reef with lots of fishes!
Yellow fish wandering around.
Many blue fishes playing around the coral.
A parrot fish flip its body over a coral reef~
Deeper part of the house reef down there.
Lots of fishes hang over under the port platform.
Finally I done my session and returning to the port, hoping that Lion had calm her self down and ready to try to perform the dive again. She took up the challenge and went in again, with Mike full guidance this round. After they went in to the water for around a minute without re-surface, I know that she had overcome the fear in there, and surely start to enjoy the underwater world like what I did just some moments ago!
Mary and Briseis went back to the dive center first, while I staying at the port waiting for Mike and Lion. Walking around the port and look into the surrounding, I still amaze by the huge different on the surface and the world underneath the water, it was really so impressive down there!
After around 20 minutes, both of them return safely and Lion was so excited like myself on the experience of her first diving. She describe that the pressure when entering the water still worried her at first, but then she saw a lion fish swim nearby her when she went down, just like welcoming her into this wonderland. Immediately after the encounter, she manage to overcome her fear and fully enjoy the rest of the session. How unique is it, a lion met another lion under the water~
Lion took up the challenge again.
Bar at the port.
Look toward El Rio Y Mar Resort from the port.
Around the bar.
Congratulation~ You did it~
We are so happy and proud that we took up the challenge and completed our first ever diving experience successfully! For me, this session really make me realize that I am suitable and love the underwater world. I might be considering to go for full dive certification in the near future. We really thanks Mike and Mary, for their guidance, escort, and also patience in dealing with beginners like us. Dugong Dive Center definitely deserve a recommendation from us!
Dugong Dive Center - Philippines