The bus journey down to Nha Trang was horrible. It was 11 hours long & all in upright seats, you could tilt them back but it still wasn't comfortable. You couldn't sleep as the bus drivers are all over the place & the roads aren't even plus they are forever beeping their horns & every time there was a toilet break all the lights came on on the bus! We arrived around 7am & the bus driver stopped outside some hotels in the backpackers district & said we could get out, have a look round the hotels & choose one & come back to the bus to collect our stuff. So we got out & looked at the first hostel. It was 6 US Dollars a night & was pretty grim so we crossed the road to look at another one. We turned around & the bus was driving off, with our backpacks still on it! The people at the hotelwere more concerned with us looking at the rooms first & said they'd take us to the cafe where the bus stops after! We were more concerned with our bags at this point so they drew up a map of where this cafe was, luckily it was only 2 streets away. They were trying to get us to payfor a motorbike round the corner to get our bags! We didn't really have money to waste chasing our bags round town so pegged it round there on foot. The bus driver had dumped our bags on the pavement by the cafe. Not really the best welcome, but we decided it must be fate as we were now much closer to the beach & found a really nice hotel for 8 dollars a night, plus we are on the 8th floor & can see the beach from our bathroom window.
After a snooze we went to find Angel Dive which was recommended to us by Amys friend Michelle & booked up or Scuba Diving SSI course starting the next day. For the rest of the afternoon we chilled out on the beach. In the evening we went back to Angel Dive to watch a few videos as we decided that 6 in one day was a bit much!
At 8.30 the next morning we had to be at the dive centre for some theory lessons and to finish watching the videos. After that we were taken to a swimming pool for our first go in the water with all the equipment on. It was so much harder then we thought! Breathing underwater is a really weird sensation & it takes a while to get used to it. We practised a few techniques like losing our regulator underwater & putting it back in and a bit of buoyancy skill but by far the worst one was taking off you mask underwater, putting it back in & clearing it. For some reason I can't tell if I'm breathing through my nose or my mouth so swallowed quite alot of water doing that & came up to the top a few times too! Charlie had a few gos at it but mastered it before me. It still freaks me out!
Teh next morning it was a 7.30 start for scuba diving - our first lesson in the sea. First of all we swam at about 8 metres deep around a reef & saw quite a few fish, including a poisonous lion fish, altho the visability was quite bad, maybe 3 metres? We also saw a pipe fish & were allowed to pick up a star fish & some kind of sea cucumber! It was hard to see much else, we were told this would make us better divers, training in bad conditions! We went back on the boat for a snack & had a second dive where we practised more skills, these were running out of air & using your buddies alternate air supply and taking off our BCs (which is the jacket & tank) and putting it in front of us & putting it back on again underwater. I was really glad he seemed to have forgotton about going over the taking off mask thing! We had a free lunch & then went back into the class room for more theory.
Next day - our last dive! Another 7.30 start & it was really tough, not used to getting up so early! We were taken to a different location on the boat this time & had a fun dive to start off with around a really pretty coral reef, we saw alot of fish but I can only remember the names of the angel fish & clown fish (Nemo's!). We got to 15 metres deep but down there the visability was really poor. Just before coming up Fred made us take the masks away from our faces (not off completely) and clear them. It was freaky but we did it & I was glad that was over with! After a snack on the boat we went back in for another dive, this time practising more skills. However, on the way down my weight belt came off & I went flying up to the top! It was pretty scary as the visability was even worse as the boat had moved round the corner & I couldn't see anything plus you are supposed to go up really slowly so you don't get decompression sickness. Fred grabbed my jacket & pulled me down & I realised how far I had come up as we had to swim vertically down for quite a way before we reached the bottom, then we had to search for my weight belt! We found it eventually! One of the skills we were practising was taking off your weight belt underwater & putting it over your knee, I was a bit freaked out I would float to the top again but it went ok in the end. We also practised more buoyancy skills & had a look around the reef. My weight belt nearly slipped off again! this time I managed to catch it tho. The hardest thing about scuba diving was trying not to use your hands & just move with your feet, it's kind of hard to not touch the bottom or float too far up as when you breath in you float up & when you breath out you go down. The very last skill took us by suprise, our buddies pretended they were out of air & had to use our alternate air source & then we had to take them to the top & blow up their jackets. It qwas quite hard remembering what you were supposed to do when it is thrown on you like that! After another free lunch we went back to study for our exams which were at 5pm. We both passed & now have our SSI licences & can dive on our own, altho we never would! We can go out with a guide tho when we get to Thailand & other places & should know what we are doing!
Today, we had nothing planned but to go to the beach, but guess what? It's raining! We went down there when it cleared a little as it's still warm, just grey & windy. The waves were hugmongous today! Tomorrow we are heading down to Mui Ne. We are hoping the weather there is still nice as I don't think they have a lot else there but beaches!