Day 2! A restful start though I wanted to sleep more. My body is just not allowing it. So I joined one guy who was already up there eating breakfast. The same bread and spread as the previous day. This time I decided to toast my bread and no spread. Because I wanted to save some space for breakfast 2 which we were told prata was gonna be served. My original buddy soon joined us. I forgot the order of events but she eventually ended up with 2 inedible toast as 1 was burnt and 1 was dropped on the floor. So those were fed to the fishes below.
The boat soon came to life as more people awoke and came to the dining deck. The boat got started to prepare for the drive, and the automatic flush system got activated as well. That’s when it was noticed that brown stuff and toilet paper were flushed out into the marina. The conversation turned to poop stuff and I wasn’t aware why initially. Then I saw the toilet paper and got the conversation. There were actually a lot of other things that happened in the previous day that I’m not writing but I think I’ll be writing them at the end as a summary kind of thing for myself and others.
The boat was driving for a while and I saw some stuff skip across the water in a vertical position for a very long distance and very quick as well. I tried to exclaim it but only 2-3 persons managed to see it. No idea what that was, but it was rather long and thin, possibly 25 centimeters in length at least. That was a good start of the day for me. And it was also commented the waters for day 2 was very much calm, where the amplitude of the wave is almost level with the surface. Dive 1 soon approached.
We got down to the dive deck to gear up and I discovered that my weight belt was gone. Probably taken by OW folks as related by the divemaster. So I proceeded to grab an empty weight belt and proceeded to add 3 to it. Why not 4? Well, I noticed that I have better control with buoyancy and decided to ditch 1 from 4. After I sorted my weight belt, I found that the wet suit assigned to me disappeared as well. Okay, I took the remaining one which was sized XS. Got into it and all was good. My original buddy decided to go with no weights and we soon got into the water for our navigation dive.
Descend was given and I descended nicely with not a lot of equalising issues. I looked up and I saw my original buddy stuck on the surface. I continued descending as I saw a dive master going over to assist her. Down I went and all of a sudden I saw a piece of weight zip past me. The dive instructor who was already at the bottom tried to make a grab for it but couldn’t. He retrieved it and stow it while I reached the bottom. I was the 2nd diver to reach the bottom after the other guy, and for once I was one of the faster divers to get to the bottom. Everyone soon came by and we did our navigation exercise. I saw a group of fish on my left behind some reefs as my new buddy was doing her navigation. I asked around later when we were back on the boat and I evidently was the only one who saw them.
Our dive soon came to an end and we also learned to deploy SMB (Surface Marker Buoy) either before or while we were doing our safety stop. I also noticed my original buddy doing funny things like swimming around, leaning on one side, holding a wide stance with her fins, literally just about everything that is not typical of her dive behaviour. Later found out it’s because she’s only got 1 weight on 1 side and she couldn’t balance herself. We got on board to chill and wait for lunch. I ate my fill and soon dive 2 came. I further ditched 1 more weight as I believe I could. The dive instructor then gave me some tips on the positioning of the weights and adjusted them for me.
The goal was to find one of the smaller wrecks nearby and we were all talking that one of us should navigate our way there. We were literally planning who should navigate, what depth should we travel in to maximise our air, what would our bearings be and stuff. So it was planned, head towards the lighthouse and swim at 5 meter depth, turn right and locate the wreck before exploring. We got into the water, and the plans changed. We’re gonna locate the wreck after placing ourselves closer to the lighthouse by surface swimming, bitch.
So swim swim swim we went which was a good distance I don’t know like 50 to 100 meters. It was also here that my suspicions were confirmed, my BCD was self-deflating so I had to keep pumping air to keep myself afloat and make my swimming life just a bit easier. There were also waves that made the swimming that bit harder. I was the last of the group to arrive. And the moment I arrived, the signal to descend was given. I was like “Noooo….” I quickly told the dive master to let me catch my breath. So we waited for about 10 or so seconds and then descend was given. My breath rate was still higher than usual, but I was fine with it since it was much better. So we descended.
Down to the bottom we went which was already at the reefs, we swam about and this time, with only 2 weights that were adjusted, I was freer in the water, I had to fight with buoyancy less and didn’t sink as much as before. It was the best dive experience in terms of pressure from controlling buoyancy, it was just freedom. The dive master found a moral eel that I somehow couldn’t see. Then a while later, a hand signal was given for turtle so I was excited. I went over but it was already gone dang… So it was just exploration, we found a big pufferfish hiding under some cover. The last big find was a big cuttlefish. The dive master was trying to irritate it a bit as it crawled on the ground. I was hoping to see it change colour but nope, it was just slowly crawling and swimming away. We left it and eventually came to the wreck.
I don’t remember too much just that I know I was enjoying my freedom in the water. I remember seeing some sort of starfish on the side of the wreck that nobody seemed to have spotted…might have been a granulated sea star. It was just fat and thick and cute haha. A dive instructor entered part of the wreck to take a photo and a dive master was sort of close behind and I saw that he was floating up the a piece of the wreck that was jutting out above his head. I tried to speed up a little but he hit his head on it. There was this point where I checked my surroundings and I saw the other guy speeding up above me. I stayed level but maybe not enough, or he was going down and his fin hit me in the face and water entered my mask. Cleared it, moved on, and no big deal. Accidents just will happen underwater. This also proves why underwater skills are taught in OW, they’ll just come in handy.
Safety stop. Surfaced hundreds of meters away from the boat. We could see them, but they couldn’t see us as we were hidden by the glare of the sun. We waited, then decided to slowly swim up to it and eventually the boat spotted us and we regrouped and waited for the boat to come and pick us up. When the boat came we had to swim to the back of the boat. So I swam on the surface with my snorkel and was moving slow as hell and it was tiring as well. I switched to my regulator and full on swam dropping a little in depth. I was swimming and I realised that my view was all bubbles and more bubbles. I popped my head out of the water and noticed I was being dragged towards the boat, additionally, the bubbles were caused by the auto flush system of the toilets jetting water out to the sides of the boat. So I very quickly swam away from those bubbles and the boat and got round to the back.
I was one of the earlier divers to arrive and I got on to the ladder to strip my fins. Took one out and threw it on to the boat as the crew was helping at the other ladder. I didn’t throw it far enough so it was resting on a spot where waves can come from underneath and move it. So I climbed the ladder further to grab it and throw the fin into the boat. I dropped down the ladder to get back into the water since I still had 1 more fin to remove and my tank hit something behind me. I looked and it was an OW diver. I didn’t know what to say…like if you see a diver on a ladder, you just stay away since you never know if he or that tank or whatever else might fall back into the water and you’re screwed if you just happen to be underneath…
But anyway, removed my gear and proceeded to shower since that was the last dive of the day. We had lunch, chilled, went back to the marina and had about an hour to spare before the bus comes to transfer us to the ferry terminal. My group wanted to check the bar out and we went over and got disappointed as the bar was really small and smoking was allowed. So we went into a convenience store to see what we could get. That’s when we found out the store does not accept payment by card, nor foreign currency. The solution was to switch currencies at a nearby hotel. But I had 100,000 IDR with me and we proceeded to spend the next 10 to 15 minutes rationing what we could get with 100,000 dollars. We ended up getting 4 can of cokes at 10,000 each. I got some fried dragon fruit snack for 34,000. While I was making payment, my original buddy found an ice cream that she wanted but didn’t know whether to get it or not since there was a joke like it seems as if they were planning to spend all my money. She said it cost 25,000 so it will be everything I had. It was just 100,000 and I was prepared to give them a treat anyway. So I just encouraged her to buy. Turns out, the cost was somehow 95,000 dollars and I got 5,000 in return. So her ice-cream was actually 21,000 IDR. And I don’t know why I thought that the expenditure without her ice cream is 75,000 when it should be 74,000. But whatever.
We got on the bus, got on to the ferry, and soon reached Singapore. And that’s it for my AOW course with GS-Diving!