I have always wanted to get certified as a scuba diver and be able to dive all the cool sites here in Malaysia and perhaps, move into underwater photography. Well, my first step into the underwater world just began on Feb 26, 2010 when I officially registered myself for the PADI Open Water Diver's Certification with Global Scuba.
Coincidentally, they were having this joint promotion between Global Scuba (the dive shop) and TUSA (a manufacturer for diving equipment). For RM850 (normally RM900), I will be given all the diver's manuals for self reading, dive log book, chart, tutorial DVD and of course, the exam fees. During this promotion, I also get a free mask (RM199) and a free snorkel (RM109).
I am to do 5 classroom sessions and 5 pool (confined water) sessions before heading to the sea for the Open Water certification, a.k.a. "the exam"!!! The sea trip, likely to places like Perhentian or Redang or Tenggol, is another separate cost of approximately RM1,000 (by flight), everything inclusive from makan, hotel (normally chalets), diving equipment (tanks and BCDs), boat, dive masters, etc.
Above all that, I should also get my own set of basic gears like the mask and snorkel (which I already have), wetsuit (<>RM600), fins (<>RM200) and booties (<>RM150). Once more advanced, I am expected to get my own dive computer (a wrist watch with many digital readings like depth, pressure, air, dive time, etc) at around RM1,500. Also my BCD (buoyancy control device) at around RM2,000. Then, my regulator (the breathing apparatus) at around RM1,500.
Gosh, its an expensive hobby! This one belum kira my underwater photography equipment!!!
But it was a good start today. I did my first confined water (pool) session and it was an awesome experience. Struggled a bit with the finning...not used to swimming with fins! And the wetsuit I wore today...was definitely too small for me. My instructor gave me "XL", the biggest size they had there but I needed XXL, I was informed. So, I really looked like a big "ham yuk jong"!!! Nonetheless, a great experience. Had lots of fun. My arms burnt red from 2 hours of hot afternoon sun (I wore the short-sleeve wetsuit)!
Well, next session...next Tuesday!!! Woohoo...