'She Can't Swim',  Diving,  Thailand

The ‘She Can’t Swim’ Chronicles: Day 9

Went on the afternoon boat. A dive at Ao Lewk and Shark Island, so named because it kinda resembles a shark, no sharks have been known to frequent the island, thank god!

It was a group of 5 for the fun dive and Lionel and I were at the back following everyone else. It was interesting to see everyone’s kicking techniques whilst under water. There’s the up and down kick, the frog-leg, and my personal favourite, the ‘omg, I’m going to hit some coral, I’d better flail my legs like crazy before someone sees me.’

It was a nice dive, better visability than the other days. It was very cool to see a school of bright yellow butterfly fish peck at a small, unfortunate jellyfish.

For the past three days I had been very worried about our next course, Search & Rescue. I was worried because it involves the diver jumping into the water and rescuing ‘drowning’ victims (usually your fellow colleagues). Me? I can’t dive into water. In fact I hate jumping into water. Even with my dive equipment I always end up face planting and losing my mask because I start to jump and then chicken out at the last minute and then end up just falling into the water. Very unco-ordinated!

As we waited for the class of Open Water Divers to surface Lionel encouraged me to try to jump off the boat, only half a metre high from the water, but still terrifying for me. I refused but I went to the back of the boat and decided to jump from the last rung off the ladder. I was actually standing in water but I still jumped into water, splashing my face, my greatest fear.

After a few jumps, holding my nose of course, I took the next step up the ladder, and then the other, and then finally I was up on the boat and I jumped from that height. Still only a metre high from the surface of the water but an achievement for me nonetheless!

After exhausting myself, jumping continuously into the water as everyone else ate fruit and biscuits, i went up to the front of the boat and excitedly told Lionel and our DiveMaster, Shuan, that I could FINALLY jump off the boat! I was taking off my wetsuit when they both jokingly yelled at me, ‘Quick, someone’s drowning, you need to jump off the boat!’ As we were at the front of the boat, higher than the back, I hesitated a bit but finally I jumped, holding my nose and slipping off the front of the boat. It was not an elegant jump but I did it. I finally jumped into water. It was such a great rush as I fell into the water and felt the pull of gravity as my body bounced up. Such a nice feeling as my legs naturally kicked up from the water. I finally did it. And I’m so happy I did.

Bring on the Search & Rescue course!

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