I have decided to document my journey into becoming a ‘DiveMaster’ here in Koh Tao, Thailand. I am extremely apprehensive, scared, nervous, going to be sick, and this is mostly due to one thing.
I cannot swim.
I took swimming lessons in primary school but remained in the ‘Octopus’ group, the lowest, easiest group for four years, never once passing a swim test. I panic in water where I can’t feel the ground, and I feel my arms and legs are too weak to keep kicking or pushing forward, thereby sinking completely. I don’t know how or why I’m doing this diving business, but here is my journey…
Today we went by Sairee Cottage Diving, where six months ago we undertook and passed our SSI Open Water and Advanced courses. We were welcomed with open arms by Neil, our previous instructor. He went through the course with us, the cost, and what would be involved. He did look into my eyes and say quite seriously, ‘Emma, I know you’re worried about swimming and yes, you’ll have to pass some swim tests.’ He went on to explain the three swim tests I would have to complete in order to pass my DiveMasters.
1. 400 metre swim with no snorkel gear in 12 minutes
2. 800 metre swim with snorkel in 15 minutes
3. 15 minutes treading, 2 minutes with your hands out of the water
Omg, I can’t swim AT ALL, how am I going to do this?