In December 2016, I made my way to Boracay Island in the Philippines. I have always love the sea and decided to take on the Open Water Diving (OWD) license with New Wave Divers. I did some research on which diving center to go for and New Wave Divers appealed most to me because of their prompt replies and excellent services. I liaised with Marge and Lynette via email. They were both very helpful and professional in answering all my enquiries. They were also rated number 1 on TripAdvisor and the reviews were great. My friends, who often go on diving trips used to tell me stories of how beautiful it is at the bottom of the ocean and I figured it is high time, I shall find that out myself.
“Sex – The first time you try, you get nervous.. But it’s still the best thing you’ve tried. The more you do it, the better it gets. As you do it with more people, you learn new techniques. With experience you can do it longer and deeper. If you enjoy sex, you’ll love diving!”
Savage! The display board caught my attention surely. Two weeks prior to my vacation, I signed up for the PADI e-learning online course and completed the OWD session. It took me about 6-10 hours in total to complete the course online, depending on how fast your internet speed is. The PADI e-learning course is valid for 1 year. It is fairly simple and i felt better to be adequately prepared theory wise beforehand. Everything went smoothly and it was very convenient – I paid the deposit via Paypal for the OWD course to New Wave Divers once i have completed the e-learning modules. The intention was to complete the whole course in two days. Well, of course you can opt to do the traditional method and only complete the theory upon arrival. However, i knew i wanted to see more of Boracay so two days for diving were sufficient.
On the first morning, my pick up time was 830am and I was greeted by Yann from New Wave Divers. I was staying at Hostel Avenue, Station 2. We took the tricycle and made our way to the dive shop, which was located at Station 1 (about 10 mins ride). The dive shop is located on White Beach and just couple of steps next to Willy’s Rock. What a pleasant view!
Yann sat me down and went through in detail of what to expect for the next two days. In order to be certified, I had to complete the confined water dives and 4 open water dives. It was pretty hilarious how i actually imagined my confined water to be in a pool, only to realize upon arrival that it will obviously take place right in the sea. One literally had to pick up the diving gears and walk towards a depth of 3 metres and deflate. Having fear for deep waters, I had no choice but to sum up all the courage I had and just do it. We started off with a quick and short theory review, before moving forward to select the right gears and learning how to set up my BCD, regulator and tank.
For the 4 open water dives, I did Friday’s Reef, Angol Point, Diniwid and Friday’s Rock. Time spent in the waters were ranging from 41 minutes to 57 minutes. Visibility was about 10ft -15ft on both days. I was so drained after the third dive, I knocked out for a good 1-hour on the boat. Still very much an amateur and relied on my dive instructor for the names of sea life that i came across during the dives. To name a few, we spotted Trumpet fish, Oriental Sweet Lips, Moorish Idols, False Clown Anemonefish “Nemo”, Blue Ribbon Eel, Starfish, Jackfish and a turtle eating. Note to self – to pick up ‘Fish Identification’ and to buy a red filter for the GoPro.
- PADI E-Learning Online – AUD $158 / USD $169/ RM 534*
- Open Water Diving (OWD) Course – PHP 16,500 / USD $318 / RM 1,628*
- *Subject to daily conversion rates
OWD Dive Course : RM 2,162/ USD $ 487
In all honesty, if you are interested to dive or want to take up the Open Water course, I certainly recommend you to do your research and go for a good dive shop. Better still, opt for a one-to-one session rather than a big group of people, unless you are doing it with a bunch of friends. I did this on my own and I didn’t have much distractions around me to take my focus away. Keep calm and dive. Thank you, Yann! Your instructions, knowledge, and advice will go a long way and it will always remain intact in my mind. I’m definitely blessed and wouldn’t have want it any other way. Merci !