My Journey as a Diver

Reliving my Open Water Scuba Diver Training Experience

My journey as a scuba diver in training started with a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) experience. I fell in love with the amazing underwater world immediately. Even before joining the Dive Funatics team, I’ve had that memorable encounter with Nemo in the shallow depths of Kontiki Marina. It was scuba diving even though a dive professional was dragging me along half of the time.  I was ecstatic!

As a Dive Center Manager for Dive Funatics, our guests often ask me if I scuba dive – that question always haunted and pushed me to become a scuba diver. While new to the team, I can only recount my not-so-professional encounter with Nemo to our guests.

I happily tell our guests about my DSD experience where I, of course, found Nemo. I was also so proud of knowing 5 basic scuba diving skills:

  • deflating a BCD on the surface,
  • breathing from a regulator,
  • regulator recovery in case I smiled so badly that my mouthpiece would slip away,
  • mask clearing
  • basic equalization techniques.

After  2 or 3 days of Open Water training, our guests will finish their  course and they will know more about actual diving than I do.

This prompted me to pursue my Open Water (OW) certification course. Getting the proper training equipped me with the necessary skills and made my dives much more enjoyable. I get that sense of being in control underwater and able to react safely to most of the situations underwater.

Knowledge Development

I did face challenges in the course, especially in some sections of the theory. Through the help and guidance of my instructor and the rest of the team, my overall OW experience was fun.

Since I had the luxury of time, I went through the PADI Open Water manual in hardcopy. I have gone through the 5 knowledge reviews and my instructor gave me 4 quizzes and a final exam. For most of our guests who are pressed for time, they opt for the eLearning version of the manual. It’s a convenient way of going over the coursework in advance and at your own pace.

Skills Development

I went over a lot of skills with my instructor. My instructor  would demonstrate a skill and as a student, I’m just supposed to observe. Once my instructor finished the demonstration, she would point to me indicating it’s now my turn to perform. During the first few skills, I would tend to follow along as she makes the demonstration and eventually I realized it’s more effective if I just observe the first demonstration. Don’t worry if you do this too. Apparently, it’s very common! Talk about being excited.

My favorite skill in OW training is buoyancy control. Though admittedly, it took me a lot of diving time learning and mastering it. With proper buoyancy control, it always makes me feel I’m one with the water – weightless, and gliding along with underwater inhabitants.

There were also a few challenging skills. I had to swim without a mask for a specified distance and then I had to do CESA. CESA stands for Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent where the instructor will teach you how to manage an out-of-air scenario if you are far from your dive buddy.

Time does fly real fast. As I write this, I realize it has been exactly a year since I joined Dive Funatics. Now I am already a PADI Divemaster (DM) with over 100 dives. I will tell you about my journey to becoming a DM in a separate story.

If I can have things my way, my first anniversary with the team will be celebrated with a fun dive of maybe 40 minutes averaging at 15 meters. At the moment, it’s 31°C here in Cebu, Philippines, sunny and warm, perfect to go diving. Of course, all friends of Dive Funatics are invited! However, given the COVID-19 crisis we are all in, I guess all I can do is recount my underwater memories over the year of diving I’ve done.

In the meantime, a shout out from my heart to all divers out there: Stay safe! We will get through this crisis together with our families, even if miles apart. As diving is more fun with a buddy as we share wonderful moments, I look forward to being your diving buddy soon!

Are you looking at getting your scuba diver training? Check out snippets from our actual classes here.