Entering a new life: in the open waters

Pondi again! 15th June 2017.

This time I am a little more grown up and am not going to let people fool me, or not get into stupid problems. I have booked a hostel. I have an objective for these four days.
And instead of letting an auto-driver loot me this time, I am walking to my hostel 😬

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I have asked myself several times why I am doing this.
My former boss is annoyed with me for taking this another leave, instead of using the time to make some good impression on my new boss. That would have been a rational thing to do, from a normal person’s view.
But I still needed to do this. Nothing could stop this urge. Why?


I have registered for a scuba diving course here.

I am going to this amazing place on a backpacking trip next week. All planned, booked and set. But ten days ago, I realised that there are some amazing dive sites in the Adriatic sea at this place.
I might not visit these places again. (I wish I were rich enough to do that!)

How can I go there and not explore such amazing sites!
And that’s how this keeda entered my head.


I enquired at a couple of places and finally closed in on Temple Adventures.

I needed to be able to swim at least 200m without a stop to be eligible to take this course.
I needed to practice. And I had only a week on my hand.
The first day I went swimming, I could barely swim 50 meters non-stop.
The first question that entered my mind was – if I fail my swim test, will they refund my money?
But I didn’t want a refund. I wanted to be a diver. So I asked for advice from literally every experienced swimmer I could find in that swimming centre.
The mantra filtered through all these conversations was – swim slowly and breathe uniformly. So for remaining couple of days, I tried doing that. And yay! It worked!


So here I am!… and I really want to say that at this moment, there’s no where else on earth I’d rather be.

And now fast forward to the next day morning. I had called up the dive school in the evening yesterday and I have to reach there at 8 am. I get up at six o’clock. I take a nice bath (because today is only a theory day). I leave at seven and start walking.

When I reach the institute, I am shown my way to the class, given all the study material (thankfully a lot of videos to watch) and left alone! Yeah, I am the only student in my batch.

Yesterday morning I had asked whether I can complete the course earlier, maybe in three days. Though I didn’t need to finish it faster, my instructor uses that cue to get a holiday for himself (and for me too) on the fourth day 😄 and planned long, tiring days for the training!


Now the rest went on as any other open water diving course would probably go. But it is still special.

Temple reef
The Temple Reef; Photo credits: Rishabh Kamath

It feels really awesome to be called an autonomous diver for the first time in life.. It has the same amazing feeling as being able to read a book for the first time without mom-dad’s help!

Barracudas
Barracudas @ Temple Reef; Photo credits: Rishabh Kamath

Credit goes to my instructor – the Killer Kid.

Honestly, had someone told me before my course that I was going to be trained by a kid almost ten years younger than me, and moreover a first-time instructor, I would have probably run away.
But this bugger has doubtlessly broken my prejudices!

He was extremely professional, a really good teacher and highly encouraging all the time. Plus, you have to be really lucky to get a teacher with a good sense of humour!
But the most important thing for an instructor – or for any kind of teacher for that matter – is to establish trust with the student.
I would’t have expected all this from someone so young. Feels proud to say that I am his first ever open water student!

Cheers to my first ever diving instructor 🍻
Cheers to my youngest ever teacher yet!!

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