big adventure awaits me

it’s my 4th time in bora (2nd time this year alone), but the trip was a different one, cuz it’s a dive trip for the scubarats

the anilao diver that i am, i thought it’s a good idea if i can go to bora not to just sun bask on it’s very fine white beach but explore it’s underwater richness & beauty. besides, it means traveling again with my alterego & other scubarats whom in one way or another i’ve shared with common passion for a cool underwater experience – almost a religious experience for me!

there was the global city run, which i skipped.

then the 10th TOF (tour of the fireflies), of which i’ve dreamt of joining since 2005. and this year that i thought i could join, last minute, i just have to wait till next year.

i was actually saving cuz i have of couple of out-of-country pleasure trips in the next weeks, and flying to bora at this season would cost me a fortune especially if you’d fly direct to caticlan (which is another concern cuz i don’t fly with less than 50-seater fleets).

besides, i have to cut my business trip just to make the friday morning flight to bora. thursday afternoon, i was just in saigon, friday morning, i was flying to panay island! this spells a tiring week!

but all these were put to shelves, all in the name of scuba diving adventure! afterall i just bought a new toy: a backplate-type BCD! wooohoo!

1st dive: camia

type of dive: shipwreck dive

tank initial rdg: 3000 psi

final rdg: 1,400 psi

max depth: 92ft

ave. depth 70ft

actual dive time: 38mins

water visibility: 20 ft

current: weak

remarks: was able to penetrate the wrecked ship, from the well lit compartment to the hardly lit engine area. no spooky feeling, unlike that of coron’s wreck. saw for the first time a sea snake

2nd dive: friday’s rock

type of dive: fun dive

tank initial rdg: 3000 psi

final rdg: 1,700 psi

max depth: 85 ft

ave. depth: 55 ft

actual dive time: 35mins

water visibility: 20 ft

current: light to moderate

remarks: geeez! my mask flooded big time! for some reasons, it keeps on flooding. right after i made an upside down turn (like i’m facing the water surface) to have a good view of the school of jacks and red snappers, my mask annoyingly floods every 2 minutes. booo! so i was literally busy unflooding it & wasting my air to displace the water in my mask. kainez!

we thought of skipping the crocodile point in the afternoon, despite it being a popular eye candy to divers (they say almost relative to anilao’s beatrice), due to budget constraints! hahaha!

besides we’re saving our woaaah moment to yapak’s adventure the next day.

after two dives, we were assessed by the DMs if we can go do a yapak the next day. luckily, my DM doms gave me a green light.

went back to SW the next day all geared for that one GREAT dive. briefing was short, and all 5 of us (3 boys & 2 girls) were soooo giddy to finally take the plunge. i was assigned to pair with DM Doms, as my buddy P decided not to go (hopping to carabao island) along with the other 4 dive buddies.

off we went, blue water descent. 35m to reach the wall of yapak 2. i was first to reach the wall. not even a minor glitch whilst descending. but for some reasons, after like a couple of minutes at the wall, whilst i was waiting for all to have their full descent, i suddenly had a vertigo-like headache when i saw the abyss (yeah to me it’s like an abyss!) on my left shoulder. started having a nasty headache & as if all my equipmet is squeezing me. i know though it’s really not, but i was having discomfort already underwater. so i moved a bit to the wall and started calming myself. but the more i think about the abyss, about the eqpt squeeze and all other actually-non-existing concerns, the shorter my breaths were!:-(

for the first time since i started diving, i was sooo nervous and evident with my significantly low on air. it didn’t help that i looked at the giant trevalli passed me by. i turned chicken seriously. was thinking of dying underwater, and not being able to even follow my DMs. so went to my DM and signaled i’m having problem (pointing at my chest). then he calmed me with my breathing. i was able to still follow his rhythm. then he asked if i was ok, i said ok. so he signaled proceed with the dive, but i signaled “i’m ok, but i wanna abort”. he too was surprised. cuz he thinks i’m already ok with my breathing pace.

yes i decided to abort!:-( after contemplating on it, for a minute, i thought it would be best not to continue it. i was already uncomfortable & the fact i wasn’t able to control my mind not to think I was nervous, had made me realized safety over adventure. i don’t want to reach that point when i’d have impaired thoughts & i’d feel so numb all over my body because i was already panicking or worse i was having nitrogen narcosis already (or in our terms narced). i don’t even want to cross that line, where my judgment is impaired. i thought not to wait for something like that to happen.

so the safety diver P, took over, as we do our decom stops. then when we reached 15 ft. he was actually clowning so i can stand the 3min-stop without anything to see (unlike in anilao that even at that shallow, colorful corals & fishes already abound).

back to our boat, he asked me what went wrong? why did i abort despite me being already ok? he even noted how i was able to follow all his instructions on our ascent and was quick to mention was even controlling my own BC and all.

i just said, i may look already ok, but inside i wasn’t. i was just trying to control myself and not to entertain any panic moments in my head. but actually i was dead nervous for whatever reason.

he said though, it was the best decision i did. if there’s any discomfort in water, never push it as diving is first & foremost should be an enjoyable experience. then i was partially relieved.

my heart was heavy for not seeing the awesome white tip sharks (they saw 5 in all), school of tunas and other amazing things near the cave. not to mention i have actually failed the test, but i know too, i did what i have to do.

i had to sms though my guru “guru i failed you, i aborted the yapak dive” haaay! you know when you’re competitive like that, it hits you big time to fail yourself and worse to fail your guru.

thanks to him, he comforted me with his reply, ok lang yun ma’am, better safe than never! haahah! :-)

actually though,back to the dive they’re all cheeky to say, it was a scripted abortion, so i can have a quality time with the very cute DM as i do my ascent:-) of course it’s not true! yes, he is cute (boyish cute like that), but i’d still prefer the yapak experience if only to make a choice. hahahah!

so there, i have no BIG stories to tell other than:

1. never as in NEVER stay till 3am & club hop & drink, if you have a 7am, call time for diving. (not that i’m using this as an excuse, but i know this factored in). all 4 of them got a good rest that night when I was still out in station 1 having a great time with my girlfriends. booo!

2. for a blue water descent like that, it’s a technique not to look at the bottom whilst descending. instead, look at your buddies so you’d feel more comfortable.

3. never allow your mind to work double time! ones mind has the capacity to imagine almost without limit. if it focused on the negative energy (like when i didn’t stop thinking about the abyss), it would be difficult to get back to your senses once it sinks in you.

4. there’s always a next time:-) i promise to be more responsible diver by then. afterall, i learned there are still good dive sites in bora. i have now other reasons why i should be back to bora in the next months :-)

5. further training always comes to the equation lately. to my batchmates, my original dive buddies, ello parky, vince, norman, cathy, candice??!! MSD course sounds very sensible really. i miss you guys btw! :-)

sana in my next attempt to yapak, you guys are my buddies ah? :-) been ages since we dove together. so i’ll just content myself with this photo of the white tip shark, hahhahaha! poor me!!

white tip shark

perhaps, big adventure really awaits for me in boracay waters, only not yet that time :-)

*photo swiped from here

7 Responses to “big adventure awaits me”

  1. 1 Fol 23 April, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Cool. I have been dreaming of diving and taking great shots like yours. However, carrying the tank and breathing through a tube seem to be to daunting. Perhaps next time.

  2. 2 Jaydee 23 April, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Cool photo. It speaks of the good diving experience that you had. Well done!

  3. 3 margaloo 23 April, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    syet banggers, next month pa ako magkakatime. intro muna ako to diving then i will go diving with you na rin!

  4. 4 banggigay 24 April, 2008 at 1:00 am

    hi fol! come on! saw your shots, i was like woaaah! you got great hands there and a pair of eyes to match!

    jaydee, aye cool shot. but shot isnt mine. i wish it was :-)

    hunee, ok yan cge! it will change your life, seriously! :-)

  5. 5 joy 24 April, 2008 at 9:22 am

    hehe… so hows your backplate? kay raymond din ba galing… uniform kayo if ever :D tara coron na tayo! excited naku bangge! :D

  6. 6 joy 24 April, 2008 at 9:24 am

    and by the way.. mag MSD ka na! its all about you and confidence!

  7. 7 bullrunner 28 April, 2008 at 10:47 am

    “Better safe than never!” Funny but true. This applies to a lot of other things in life too, like deciding to DNF in a race which you did before. I think it quitting when you know you can’t do it requires a lot of guts and smarts. Good for you Banggi! I’m sure you’ll have another chance to see those sharks (and more) soon :)

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