Scuba Diving – the beginning

Sea anenome
Yesterday we began our scuba diving course with Daren. There’s three parts to it, which will eventually give us the PADI Open Water Diver Course. First off, is some practical confined water sessions, held at the public pool in Melaka (2°11'29.39"N, 102°14'51.49"E). Last night we learnt how to set the scuba (which stands for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) gear up and did a few basic skills, such as recovering the second-stage regulator and replacing/clearing a flooded mask etc. Tonight’s sessions has a few more skills, and plenty of swimming around!
For my own benefit, here’s the steps we were taught, to set up the scuba gear:

  1. Remove the sticky tape from the tank (this is Daren’s way of knowing if the tank is full or partly used). Make sure the O-ring is securely in place.
  2. Under the strap on the Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), place it over the tank, and secure the tank in place, making sure the top of the tank is at about the same height as the top of the BCD.
  3. Remove the dust cap from the first-stage regulator, and attach the regulator to the tank, only doing it up finger-tight.
  4. Connect the low-pressure inflater (LPI) to the inflater hose on the BCD.
  5. With the Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG) facing away from you (in case it’s faulty and smashes in your face), slowly open the tank valve.
  6. Use the LPI to inflate and deflate the BCD a couple of times, to check for leaks.
  7. Check the second-stage regulator and alternate air source are working, either with the purge button (put your finger over the mouthpiece to stop freeflow from occurring), or by taking a few breaths.
  8. Place the alternate air source into the holder, and tuck any other loose bits away as well.
  9. Ready to go!

Once we’ve done the pool dives, then it’s a small test on the theory of it all, then off to Tioman resort on the east coast of Malaysia (one of the best dives spots in Malaysia) for the open water (sea) practicals. Once we’ve done that, then we *may* get to glimpse a sea anenome like above!

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By Gary Jones

Husband, dad of twins, software engineering lead, and a middle-of-the-pack runner.