Scuba diving: Nha Trang
After a decent case of ear infection in Hoi An and an extremely interesting hospital visit (pls see the video section) we went to Nha Trang to get our PADI certificate and to explore the ocean in a way Mother Nature does not approve of.
Breathing underwater is the most unnatural act you get to do while keeping yourself alive.You get to "swim with the fishes" but not in the Mafia way i.e. only once. The training is very simple: you remember a handful of rules at ALL times and you get quizzed on some multiple choice options that you need to pass with at least 75%.
Rule #1: Never stop breathing. Hold a breath taken at 20 meters underwater and when you reach 10 meters it has doubled in size, so unless you're Aquaman, your lungs will go pop.
Rule #2: Don't panic, keep breathing. This is the difficult rule to obey as you are hard wired to panic when things go wrong underwater. Like both Germarie and myself choking on some water that went into our nasal cavities when you need to take your mask off and put it back on unsighted (underwater…). Luckily the regulator (mouthpiece) is made in such a way that you can do anything into it and it will keep working (even if you feel queasy and decide to feed the fish, which is apparently quite a sight). The natural reaction is to take it out of your mouth and head for the surface, but you need to follow Rule #1.
Choking underwater is really scary in the beginning and then once you get control of your "fight-flight" primal instinct you kind of get a kick out of it. The training says…keep breathing no matter what. So you do and then after that first "breath" while coughing underwater you realize "I'm going to live! I'm actually going to live!!!" So you do and then you get the job done and you feel like a bit of a conqueror of fears.
Problem is this happened to us 5 meters under in a swimming pool. We had to do the same test 13 meters under in the ocean.So test day shows up and we both get it done without choking. Slap on the back, victory beers and now were certified PADI Open Water Divers. See you in an ocean near you…
You can watch the full thing in the video section.