I’ve always love being at the beach. The salty wind, the warm water and the bring sky are my fuel to live. I would usually go for a swim or just stay in the water for hours; it calms me. The sea has these magical powers the soothes me and it’s not a surprise when having an Open Water Diving license is in my bucket list.
Why Diving? I remembered during my first trip to Phuket, my friends and I went for snorkeling at Chicken Island. The underwater view was twice prettier than anything I’ve ever seen. Fish were everywhere and they were friendly. I even saw few species of sea creatures but because I was wearing a life vest, I couldn’t go deeper. That was when I knew I must have the license so I can see more of what the ocean can offer.
With that in my list, I started to learn and study bits by bits about diving. The fun and the safety part. Even though I love the sea, the ocean and the beach, I am actually scared of drowning. Although I don’t have any accident before, the fear is there. In other words, I’m actually the last person to ever have a diving license but I believed that we need to push our self and fight against our monster. Drowning is the monster and I am my own warrior.
After nearly a year of planning, I finally got a chance to take my licensed and boy, I prepared everything for anything. So what does one newbs need to bring when one is heading for his/her first diving trip?
1. Basic Diving Equipment
Since I am wearing spectacles, the first diving equipment I bought was a Prescriptive Mask. You can get them at any diving stores but I would suggest you to call them first to check for stocks. A prescriptive mask is just like any other diving mask but with extra power glass. If its wasn’t for this mask, I probably wouldn’t able to see and enjoy the view of my diving site.
You can also buy a pair of fin or boots for yourself. However, I would advise you to take your license first and try out the fins at your diving school for your own comfort. There are few different types of fins (Shorter and longer) and it comes with its own perks and disadvantages. Personally, I prefer longer fins because it makes me go further and quicker but it is hard to handle unlike the shorter fins.
Another item that I bought was the mouthpiece. This was merely for hygiene but I ended up didn’t use it during the trip as I was given with new set of regulator. The mouthpiece is pretty cheap, ranging from RM9-RM30, depending on the brand and the stores.
How about Wetsuit? Based on my own experience, unless you plan to dive every month, I don’t think it is necessary to buy a wetsuit for beginners. Maybe you can buy them once you have your licensed and plan to dive more often.
2. Proper attire
What should you wear while diving? You can basically wear anything. I even saw people wearing Baju Kurung and Baju Melayu while diving. However, for a newbie like me, I decided to to wear a fitted onesies with a dri-fit shirt. Avoid cotton based clothes because they absorbed water and dry slower than dri-fit based clothing.
Some also wear gloves and boots but that is not compulsory for all. Basically, when it comes to diving attire wear something that will protect you (Some corals are sharp that they can cut you.) but also comfortable because you need to be able to move freely.
3. First Aid
During the trip I took, some of my friends actually had several cuts on their hands due to corals and I had some bruises on my knees as well. This is where First Aid kit comes in handy. If you don’t have any kit, then make one for yourself. Get a few medical bandages, antiseptic cream or liquid, a bottle of ointment and a tab of paracetamol. One of my diving buddy had a mild dizziness after our dive, the paracetamol helped her out.
4. Skin protection
The most important part for me is the sunscreen because I am easily burned. Sunscreen is an essential resource for any diver and really, for anyone who is outside and doesn’t want to get burned to a crisp. But as beneficial as sunscreen can be to its user, it can be just as harmful to coral reefs. In fact, as much as 10 percent of the world’s coral reefs may be threatened by certain chemicals in most sunscreens. Oxybenzone is one in particular that has been proven to cause disruptions in coral production, and is found in over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide.
You can get these at any pharmacy. Make sure the sunblock is for water-sport, water resistant and eco-friendly!It’s important to try to find a sunscreen that not only keeps the user from feeling pain, but also ensures that the marine ecosystem isn’t feeling the burn.
5. Snacks and drinks
This is the extra part. My diving master suggested me to drink as much water as I can before I go diving and I find it helpful. I felt less tiring and find it more comfortable while diving. You may also get slightly tiring and thirsty after diving so the snacks and drinks help!
My diving trip was an amazing experience. I get to fight my monster and even got a licensed after it. I can’t wait to go dive again and see more incredible creatures under the sea. If you haven’t had any diving experience before, please do it! You are going to enjoy every moments of it. PV Dive one of our team who provides PADI Courses and Scuba Diving Adventure package. So take this chance and get your licensed. The sea is waiting for you to explore it!