tirsdag 24. mars 2009

Kota Kinabalu and scuba diving

I remember I learned in school about the evolutionary theory, that some of our ancestors actually lived in the water. Some time long ago some of them crawled up and started a living onshore. After having scuba dived for the first time in my life I really wonder why they left this quiet and wonderful world in the sea. I really can't see their motives for doing a thing like that. But on second thoughts, and after my second day under water, I think I know why. They were probably just so extremely exhausted from being under water all the time.

Well, I'll leave it with this little contribution to the evolutionary theory for now, and rather tell you about my own experience with diving. First of all I must say that I never thought I ever would do a thing like this. For all my life the thought of being several metres under water and have to rely on some breathing equipment has left me with a feeling of something I had no control over. If you had asked me 2 weeks ago if I ever would go scuba diving my answer would have been: NEVER!

I am really not sure how I ended up taking this course, but staying on Perhentian Island where there is nothing to do but swim, snorkelling, lying in the sun or scuba dive, and where there are a lot of scuba divers, suddenly made me think that it would be amazing to see the world under there on such a place. So I asked a little to the ones running the dive shop there, found out that I would need 3 days, and decided to look for a course in Kota Kinabalu. And during my second day in the town I had a physical check at a local doctor and had made all arrangements for starting a course the next day.

The first day was just “the academics” with a test afterwards, and when I passed this I suddenly realized, with a little bit of panic maybe, that there were no way back from going under there. Since I also had paid for it and there would be no refunds given, I said to myself I would under no circumstances waist my money! So the next day I was training to take of and on all the gear in the water and under water, and on deeper and deeper water, and also training for emergency procedures like running out of air, share air with your diving buddy and so on.

I admit that it was a little scary in the beginning, but it got better when I got used to using the breathing apparatus. Well, used to... I use too much air, my tank reached the lowest safety level much before my two dive student buddies, so I hope I get the chance to dive some more on this trip and train more on breathing as normal as possible.

It really was a wonderful world down below there, even if we did not train at the most beautiful islands there is in Borneo. And I will not have time, on this trip, to get to any of those islands unfortunately. Probably my first chance to dive again will be in Philippines in Cebu in April sometime. And you don't really get exhausted by diving, but you (or at least I did) get very, very tired afterwards.

Because of the diving course I did not get the chance to look around much in Kota Kinabalu. I stayed mostly at “The Hunters terrace” which is the hotel bar at my hotel there. I had get to know some locals here before I got here, but all of them were out travelling at the moment, so I chose to take a hotel. Lucky choice really, cause I made some friends there even if went to bed early each day. I specially will say hi here to John and Waynih behind the bar, Harry who lives there (according to himself) and Simon from Australia who was there for his diving instructor education. And of course I have to name my diving buddies from the course, Sarah from UK and Daniel from Switzerland, and of course our eminent instructor Neville from New Zealand. He made me feel so safe all the time.

Sorry, but no pics from the diving... had to concentrate on other things than taking pics. So just some pics from the bar. I promised they could download them from here.

But just to show you I really made it....

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