Experiencing the other fun part of Gili Trawangan – DIVING!!
I went to Gili Trawangan last Easter Break. This year, I really missed spending my time at Gili Trawangan and wanted to go back there, badly. Booked tickets with a friend without knowing what I should be doing there. My travel mate, Dina, is a hardcore diver. Me? I would simply be happy just going to the beach and do snorkeling.
First thing we did when we arrived at Gili Trawangan was we looked for a hostel. We arrived at Trawangan Dive, the dive operator of which Dina wanted to use their services. Before I arrived at Lombok, Dina told me to join their Discover program. The program basically introduces non-divers to diving.
I didn’t know what made me register for the program, but suddenly I was paying Rp 600,000 for the program J First of all, I am afraid of depth, even at swimming pools. Even though I have done snorkeling many times, it didn’t make me brave enough to learn how to dive. But, hey! Let’s try a new thing this year!! Learn how to dive, even though I won’t be getting certified yet!
Joining it with my quite stressful face, the class started at 11.30am in the pool. The instructor for that day was Joe. She introduced us to other 2 dives masters, the first one was Angie and the other…I forgot. There were 5 participants including me. Joe introduced us to the basic equipments of diving, including names and the technical explanations of each equipment such as the tank, BCD (how to inflate/deflate), fin, etc.
After spending 15 minutes, she took us to the pool. We tried the equipments in a shallow pool, including the tank, BCD, mask, snorkel, and fin. She explained to us on how to use it. Then, she asked us to go under the water in the shallow pool. There were three types of basic techniques she taught us:
– How to clear the mask, if there is water in your mask
– How to clear your snorkel, if the water is in your mouth
– How to put back your snorkel, if suddenly your snorkel is dislodged from your mouth
Moreover, she taught us also on how to adjust your hearing to the depth of the water. The deeper you get underwater, the more hurt your hearing gets because of the water pressure. Therefore, she taught us how to overcome it. It is called equalization. Apparently, 1 participant was not comfortable with this diving thing, so he immediately left the pool J
After that, she took us to a deeper pool! This was the part when I started to panic. A ~ 2,5 meter pool? Ehm…..could I? I can swim, of course, but…get drowned with all those equipments? Sit on the bottom of the pool? It turned out, I could swim with the tank, BCD, fin, etc!! hahaha. Soo happy!
She taught us how to deflate and inflate the BCD so we could drown slowly but sure. Then she asked each of us to swim in the water (not swim on the surface of the pool of course). Well, I just found out that I was not afraid of the pool’s depth. I actually kinda enjoyed it when I started to swim. I did have trouble with my hearing, it was hurting so bad, but it didn’t make me stop J.
One hour of lunch break didn’t make my face look happier. I was still putting on a stressful face that even all the instructors knew my name and constantly asked: are you okay? 😀
It was time to go to the sea with their boat. There were 3 instructors for 4 participants. When it was time to jump to the ocean, I was still thinking not to jump…but, suddenly, when the instructor started to count to 3, Dina’s dive master pulled my tank and made me not have time to think of wanting to continue with this program or not. The next thing I remembered, I was already in the water!
I started to panic….then it was time to get drowned; I didn’t even think about the depth of the sea. As I started to drown, my ears started to hurt. When everybody else already started to dive, I needed to go to the surface twice. I told Angie, the instructor, that my ears hurt so badly. She really pushed me to be more relaxed and we started to go to the depth of the sea again. She really helped me to equalize my ears. When finally my ears didn’t hurt, I started to swim like everybody else. I’m DIVING!!! Hooooooooooooooo…so proud of myself!
At first, Angie held my hand. When she realized that I was okay with the depth, comfortable with my “breathe in breathe out” stuff, she started to let me go. Then I swam with the other participants…..
I saw turtles…big and small, fishes, soft corals…so beautiful. I didn’t realize that we spent ~ 30 minutes in the water! Wohooo!
Finally, I did it! The instructor said we dived from 5 meters to 12 meters!
This year, I successfully conquered by biggest fear of water depth!
Next thing to do: Get the diving certification for sure 😀