Sunday, September 8, 2013


I still couldn't get enough being labelled as a DIVER.
I could never imagine this last year - I couldn't even swim that time!

For the past 29 years - I've lived a mundane life.
A simple, low-risk, safe, routine-based life.

And then, a heartbreak made me opt for something bizarre - DIVING!

The quote below is my drive for the mission!

With CC's recommendation of a OWC instructor whom he said is friendly,
I gathered people to go with me. 
Chriz my secondary schoolmate and Loke my badminton kaki.

I've selected Tioman for the OWC due to travel conveniences.

It was definitely a new kind of experience for me.
One that shed new light about LIFE!
And also one that tells me how untalented I am when underwater.

We are lucky to have Eric Liow as our instructor.
Friendly, patient, funny is his outstanding personality, 
but his trademark - his tanned skin!!!
Hokkien people would say "Or kim or kim, ju kua ju jip sim!"

diving at tioman
Tioman was cloudy and rainy when we got there

tioman nice view joyce yap diver
But it was nice at the resort... 

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
Meet our "or kim" instructor Eric - giving us equipment briefing

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
Sempat lagi for a PEACE sign! ;)

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
All geared up and we couldn't stand straight due to the weight! 

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
Ready to go in... kan cheong!

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
On a boat dive

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
Doing my first backroll entry on a boat dive - no, he's not pushing me down!
Hands on regulator and mask to ensure its placement when you get into the water.

boat dive backroll waves
The sea looked kinda choppy from this photo - taken by CC

diver say hi underwater tioman joyce yap shu ling blog joycelifebits
Yay! I'm alive! SWT

bad buoyancy control floating
Compilation of embarrassing photos on our lousy control of buoyancy..
It was mostly me that would have to be pulled down by Eric..
Still laughing my socks off looking at these photos!

seasick sunset beach tioman joyce yap blog
One of the most suffering part of my OWC - seasickness!
I had it at every dive... :'(

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
After much struggle, drinking gallons of salt water, and seasickness, I've made it through!

beautiful sunset tioman joyce yap
Great view at night... all the hardwork pays off looking at this breathtaking scene!

PADI open water course advice practical tips scared how to do phobia
CC, Joyce, Eric. Chriz & Loke..

The post mortem of my Open Water Course at Tioman :-

1) Breathing - It was pretty hard at first to breathe without using our nostrils. Air in, air out, with mouth.

2) Mask defog - to scrub using saliva. It still disgust me till today.

3) Tank - It is super heavy for a petite person like me. To carry such weight on my back for every dive is a "good exercise" but it's definitely going to make me shorter.

4) Buoyancy - breathing and balancing skills - not my expertise. I've been floating up to the surface numerous times that I was demotivated to continue my course.

5) Safety stop - This is something I'll never ever learn! To stay put underwater for 3 minutes - no finning. I was doing Macarena - legs going left right center, body up down center - I was in a mess!

6) Seasickness - Despite walloping the motion sickness pills like nobody business, I was surprised that it does not have any effect on me. Vomited after every dive - some in the sea, yes. The fishes may thank me for the buffet later on. And I continued to have slight dizziness 3 days after my last dive. That's a pretty bad week.

Some advice to overcome :-

1) To get use - Breathing using regulator on mouth is a piece of cake when you get a hang of it. Clearing of mask with saliva no longer makes you go "ewww!!!" coz you would want a fog-free mask when you get into the water. Carry tank?! It's a good exercise to help you lose weight! More tank for me please! 

2) Practice - Practice makes perfect. Compare your first dive and your last dive. You'd be amazed how much you've improved and how comfortable you are in the water now. And buoyancy control no longer depends heavily on inflating / deflating your BCD like using it as a lift button, but through your breathing. Breathe in air to float a little more, and breathe out to sink a little more. Voila! 

3) Goal - Always remember why you are here for. With a reason, you'll put in double and triple effort to get the things done. Specifically certain skills that your instructor needs you to do. Make every single skill your small goals. And getting certified is the end goal!

4) Motivation - Go with friends who are positive and constantly giving motivation. It helps to know that if they can do it, you can do it too! 

5) Doubt - Never doubt your own capability, and your instructor! Just do what he told, and you'll be fine.

6) Instructor - You would need to find a instructor that you can trust. Eric is a person whom I could put my life on when I'm in the water. There is one skill whereby we have to remove our mask and swim. I could barely open up my eyes in the water due to the salt contained, and so I decided to just close my eyes, and put my hand on Eric's, and I swim with his guidance with my eyes closed entirely. This can only be done with trust. And this is also why I've declared Eric as the World Best Instructor! Wootz!

7) Seasickness - Dizzy? Just vomit it out. That's my remedy. Then I'll sniff on some cooling ointment to ease the dizziness a little. Then lay down to rest for awhile. One may lose appetite as well but it's okay as long as your stomach is not empty - just eat something light. During my next dive at Redang, I took 1 1/2 Novomin pill 1 hour before my dive, and it lasted throughout the day. I was perfectly fine and enjoyed my whole 3 days diving sessions! The seasickness would get so sick of infecting the same lousy person and will go away eventually. Don't think there's gonna be a permanent seasickness. So don't worry. :)

Hope the above helps. It's just my two-cents sharing.

What a busy month. Promise to blog more.

Goodnight ya'all! :)