Posts Tagged ‘diving’

In response to several messages from readers asking for information about diving programs for the uninitiated, this post will serve as a teaser of what to expect when one decides to experience Scuba Diving!

Scuba Diver

A diver sails over a garden of healthy corals.

Are you interested to explore what lies beneath the surface of the water? Then you definitely should learn how to SCUBA dive! Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) is a safe and fun way to discover the beauty that is hidden from the land-loving folks of the world. earth

PADIEven if you visit all of the countries and the lands of the earth, if you do not dive, you will still end up seeing only 30% of our planet. The 70% is below the surface, covered in water. So, how can you get started?

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) organization which I am a member of, has several entry-level programs that you can avail on your next vacation or during a weekend get-away.

For the ones “pressed-for-time”: DCIM100GOPRO

The Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) experience program is a great way to get a taste of the adventure that awaits the intrepid individual! If you have half-a-day to get away, I highly recommend this program. It consists of:

  1. Overview (Briefing)
  2. In water practice (Pool)
  3. Dive with the Instructor (In the sea)

Getting wet starts at the pool where we conduct a short but comprehensive briefing so that you can understand what is needed to keep oneself safe and comfortable while underwater.

Then we put on our equipment which consists of the wetsuit, mask, fins, boots, buoyancy control device (BCD), aluminum air tank, weights in a belt, and the scuba regulator. They may feel a little odd at first but you will get used to them pretty quickly! DCIM100GOPRO

I will demonstrate some fun but essential skills above and underwater that you’ll follow and learn to do. In the pool, your first scuba breath is an eye-opening experience!

Underwater, the noise of the world is dampened and you can clearly hear yourself breathing in and out. Your exhaled breath comes out as bubbles and you can see the sunlight dispersed as soft sunbeams in the fluid environment.

How to breathe properly using scuba? Imagine a nice, calm day at the beach; the sound of the  water lapping gently onto the sand. Long inhalation, long exhalation. Easy does it! Keep a good seal around the mouthpiece with your lips and breathe continuously, don’t hold your breath.


Depending on your comfort-level and pace, we will then move on to the deeper part of the pool where you will have the chance to practice the technique of clearing your ears from the pressure of the water (equalization).


The concept is similar to what you do when you are in an airplane that is starting to descend and the cabin air pressure changes slightly to ground pressure.

No sweat really, you only need to block your nostrils with your thumb and forefinger and blow air gently into your nose. You will hear and feel a slight popping sensation as your ear air spaces equalize with the outside pressure. You will continually do this as we descend towards the bottom of the pool. DCIM100GOPRO

From there, we start to play with our fins and move ourselves through the water.

If you cannot swim, it’s not an issue. I will be holding on to you and will be helping you maneuver around the area; same way as what we will be doing while diving in the open water.

Then we are off to the sea. The sea! Ah, what a huge playground!! We will take a short boat ride to a great site with lots of colorful fishes. One particular site has bars that one can hold on to while a multitude of fishes swim around us. Watch how they interact with us, just like pigeons in a park.

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DCIM100GOPROWhat else to do down there? Just breathe continuously, never hold your breath and enjoy the feeling of freedom from gravity.

You are in a weightless environment. Down there, you can fly!

Feeling excited? Drop me a line at Let’s work out a way to get you beyond just breathing on land.

This program is open for 10 years old and above!


The MAD Cavers undertook the first ever Casili Spring Exploration on August 23, 2011 and discovered a new cave system!

Bernil, Doc and Alec

The exploration was very promising and we will definitely visit the area again very soon to extend our line. The mouth of the cave starts at 10.5 meters and water temperature is a cool 28 deg Celsius. A good amount of large freshwater shrimps live near the cave’s entrance.

Casili Spring- Underground River Outlet

Joining us as support diver on this epic first trip to Casili Spring is Advanced Diver, Alec Toting.

More details will follow and we will publish a full report of the dives right after the planned second visit.

For the meantime, here’s a video made by Doc of our 1st trip to Casili.

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