Dive Culture’s 1st Batch of Open-Water Scuba-diving Students

13 Dec

Besides the love for photography, my husband, Ipin is very passionate about water sports, particularly wave surfing and scuba-diving. I’m glad that we at least share one common interest, which is scuba-diving and we are happy that we can share our activities with our children. No photos of them in this post as I was very occupied with them, no time to think to take photos. Our bonus is when we marry photography and scuba-diving to get paid jobs for underwater photography. Therefore, Dive Culture is your Malaysia’s child-friendly & family-oriented centre to get your open-water scuba diving license under SDI or even learn underwater photography. Read here about Ipin’s scuba-diving instructorship by SDI or some of his underwater photography activities & tips here. We even pair-up with Photo Travel, a photography tour agent to organize Underwater Photography trips in Malaysia for our photography-enthusiast tourists.

Instructor - Ipin explaining to students on the functions of regulator, second stage and gauges available

Instructor – Ipin explaining to students on the functions of regulator, second stage and gauges available

 

Dive Culture’s 1st batch of open-water students consist of 6 male students between the age of 33 years-old and 45 years-old.  Ipin was the instructor and I was the Rescue Diver in-training while our children will always be our die-hard supporters after our long-tiring day from work. Our children come in a package whenever we go on a job assignment for more than 1 night. That is why the places that we choose to stay must be clean, comfortable and have some activities for the children to do while we are working. Scuba-diving destination: Pulau Tioman, Resort: Salang Pusaka and Dive Centre: Scuba Naut.

Ipin demonstrating on how to use a BCD by one of his students.

Ipin demonstrating on how to use a BCD by one of his students.

We left Kuala Lumpur about 2.30am and met up with the rest of the participants at the Seremban Highway. Pulau Tioman is the closest scuba-diving island from Kuala Lumpur compared to Pulau Redang, Pulau Tenggol, Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Langkawi. By the time it was sunrise, we have already reached the jetty in Mersing, Johore. I love the smell of the morning breeze especially if it is next to the sea. The nasi lemak, roti canai and teh tarik simply complements the whole satisfying experience. One thing I have to remind travelers that there is no free trolley service available to transport your heavy scuba-diving equipment and luggage from your car onto the ferry. It is either you carry them yourself with your roller-diving bags or pay RM5 per use of trolley for rent from the boat operator there. I personally think that this is all rubbish and the ferry operator should provide the trolley FOC for their passengers instead of charging a pathetic condition trolley for RM5. That was not all, even as you arrived at the jetty in Salang there will be no service to assist you carry your heavy loads to your respective resorts. Apparently that is a common practice. I experienced the same thing when we stayed with Salang Sayang and again with Salang Pusaka, despite calling them to inform that our group will be arriving in 30 minutes time. Once you reach at Salang jetty, be prepared to wait for another at least 15 minutes before the resort come to assist you with your loads. If you can’t wait, of course you can always carry them yourself for about 100 metres. Then, there will be another 15-30 minutes of waiting before checking in. Sense of urgency is almost non-existence. Since I’m a Malaysian and used to incompetency of hospitality services in Malaysia, I’ve mentally prepared myself and ensure that these incidents will not demotivate our scuba-diving trip. I’m writing this too to help readers who have not experienced the Malaysian Hospitality to be mentally prepared and focus on the great adventure you are about to experience here, especially the underwater world.

Students gearing up for the 1st time for their confined water session.

Students gearing up for the 1st time for their confined water session.

What I really like about Salang Pusaka layout is they have a few wakaf or gazebo in between their chalets. Each wakaf is equipped with power outlet, lights, table and some with benches. It is a perfect place to conduct our classroom sessions with the sea breeze and all the students’ chalet are facing the 5-steps-away-wakaf. I love it more as I can check on my children and vice-versa whenever we need each other while classroom session is on-going. The balcony at each chalet gives ample space for scuba-divers to hang-dry their equipment and wetsuits. Salang Pusaka’s restaurant is famous for their BBQ dinner. Great food, friendly service and reggae&Jack Johnson-songs ambience. What else to ask for after a day of beautiful dives?

One of the students underwater doing OK sign

One of the students underwater doing OK sign

Back to our 1st batch of students. Thank you Mamad for the camera & photos. I have learnt that never take your health condtion for granted especially before scuba-diving as the results will not lie. Please have enough rest, sleep, drink more water and eat well. Unfortunately, out of 6 students we had 1 was down with flu and fever. Failing to equalized the ears during descend made the condition worse. Day 2, another student failed to overcome his fear for water. This is when I feel that mental and emotional strength are very important before pursuing this extreme sports. It may look easy at first but the process of mastering the skills might be quite challenging for some. Once you’ve earned your license, I can guarantee you that your dives will be very rewarding. Day 3, we were down with 4 students only and one of them was trying hard to overcome his motion sickness. He was vomiting while diving several times and persevered to complete his certification. I really admire his determination and mental strength throughout the course. The key was to remain calm underwater at all time.

Ipin teaching students underwater

Ipin teaching students underwater

Since the monsoon season is here now, Dive Culture still takes in student to do their theory and confined water in swimming pool in Kuala Lumpur. We are also excited to have a 12-year-old student with us. All the students-in-waiting are just eager for the monsoon season to be over in February next year. Till then you can find us hitting the swimming pool almost every weekend. Come and join in the fun, enquire within!

Some of bonus experience when you get the tropical fishes accompanying you while doing your confined water session. Splendid!

Some of bonus experience when you get the tropical fishes accompanying you while doing your confined water session. Splendid!

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4 Responses to “Dive Culture’s 1st Batch of Open-Water Scuba-diving Students”

  1. schmolphin April 9, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    This is sooo awesome!!! I remember my 1st experience doing DSD back in Sabah in 2014. I was overly nervous that I fail to go for my 1st dive near the shore. But by lunch, I told myself I had to do it and there, I straight away get to my 2nd dive in the open sea. N now in 2 days time, I’m gonna be in Tioman for my diving course! I’m super excited but I’m still very much nervous! Bismillah. Hope all goes well.

  2. Jenny July 26, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    Great post! I have always wondered how people get started in scuba diving. The classes look like they’re a lot of fun.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 common things a newbie would bring to his/her Scuba Diving classes « Happy Hippie Avenue - February 14, 2013

    […] certification under Scuba Diving International (SDI) late last year, they have been conducting confined-water classes fortnightly in swimming pool in Shah Alam. Click here to find out more on their upcoming classes. […]

  2. City Kids Go To The Farm « Happy Hippie Avenue - January 14, 2013

    […] in UK Agro Farm around noon after our heavy breakfast in Mersing. We were coming back from a scuba diving trip in Pulau Tioman. It was a weekday (the beauty of being self-employed) and we did not have to wait for long before […]

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