Saturday, 9 November 2013

Day 6 in Bali - Taking the Plunge

Many of my closest friends and family know I have a bit of a fear when it comes to confined spaces and being under water.  Prior to my trip to Bali, I contemplated getting my open water scuba certification, but could not bring myself to do it.  When I got to Bali, I realized there is a whole other part of Bali I wanted to explore…underwater.  I literally took the plunge and signed up for a three day open water scuba diving course with Arrows Diving Centre in Lovina.  Day one, my instructor, Mangku came to our Villa and we did the pool portion of the course.  Mangku was very patient and skilled.  He taught me how to relax underwater and control my breathing and buoyancy.  By the end of the day, I was set to go for my first open water dives, yippee!

My fabulous friend Tracey (who also happens to be a Dive Master), joined along for the adventure to Scuba off of Manjangan Island, which is part of Bali Barat National Park.  Getting into the water, and diving my first three meters was completely out of my comfort zone, especially once I was down 12 meters.  I may have watched too many Jaws movies growing up.  After a few minutes, my breathing and buoyancy were under control and we were descending deeper.  Surrounded by beautiful fish and plant life, I was so distracted by the beauty that being underwater was beginning to feel so natural.  For anyone planning to come to Bali, I highly recommend scuba diving around Manjangan Island.  The coral is incredibly beautiful and you are likely to see turtles, sharks, clown fish and coral rich in colours and texture. 

Yesterday, we made our way along the North Eastern part of Bali to dive Tulamben Ship.  The U.S.S Liberty was the victim to two torpedoes from a Japanese Submarine during World War II.  This ship is 120 meters long and sits along the shores of Tulamben Beach.  I made my way down 18 meters today while we explored the ship.  We came across a beautiful turtle, sting rays and a number of different types of fish, including Nemo and his family.  

After passing all my underwater skills tests and the written exam, I am now a certified open water scuba diver.  Many of the skills tests took me way out of my comfort zone and in time and A LOT of positive self-talk, I worked through my fear.  I am grateful to my fabulous instructor, Mangku for his patience and calming nature.

 I am also grateful to Tracey, for encouraging me, and celebrating my accomplishments.  This has been one of the most challenging things I have done and I have learned a lot about myself during this process.  

Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress. In overcoming our fears, we can move forward, strong and wiser within ourselves

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