Plonger en Crete
While on vacation to Crete I decided I wanted to try scuba diving, I used to do some in the Lochs and around the coast of Scotland when I was younger.
It was a beautiful place we were staying with a wide clear bay and a few fishing boats, there was a small diving school just up from the beach. I popped in to see what it would cost and see what sort of things I would be able to do. The scuba industry is regulated by different bodies depending where in the world you dive.
I had trained in Britain where the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) is the governing body and you have to get certified and trained by a local BSAC club in order to dive there. They keep records of all your training and any dives that you do in a log book, if your log book is up to date you can take it on holiday with you and show diving schools and tours your experience. The more experience you have the better and harder the dives you are allowed to go on.
Well anyway the school in Crete was a PADI affiliated diving school, PADI is the international version of the BSAC. I did not have my log book with me and it was a little bit out of date anyway, the last time I went diving was when I was at University about 15 years ago.
I would only be allowed to go on a training dive to start with and if that went ok some shallow dives over the next few days.
I signed up for the short day course and another 2 dives I can’t remember the price but it was pretty decent, not too expensive but not dirt cheap.
The training started the next morning with theory and book learning in the classroom. It was pretty basic stuff and I remembered most of it from when I had done my training. They just wanted to make sure we knew what we were doing and that we knew what to do in an emergency.
After the work in the classroom we had a chance to check out the equipment and get fitted for our training dive. The training dive was before lunch and we just went into the bay where the diving school was. We carried our equipment down the beach and waded into the water.
There was about eight of us with two instructors to keep an eye on us. They gathered us around in a circle and proceeded to show us how to clear our masks underwater, how to share a demand valve and some basic swimming exercises to make sure we were comfortable with the equipment.
After the short lesson the instructors took us for a swim around the bay, we saw many types of fish and a few crabs, there was some broken pottery and urns and a sunken boat. Then we stopped near a small reef and the instructors took out some slices of bread so we could feed the fish.
They took photographs of us being swarmed by hundreds of fish. You could feel them nibbling your fingers as you fed them the bread. The fish were so dense that you had trouble seeing anyone else. It was very exciting and great fun.
After everyone had a shot of feeding the fish we headed back to the dive school. We had to carry our equipment up the beach to the storage shed and clean it down with fresh water, you should do this with all equipment you use on a dive as salt water can be very corrosive if not washed off metal tanks, demand valves and ABLJ’s/buoyancy aids. We also washed the wetsuits and accessories we had used.
Once everything had been cleaned up we went back to the classroom and talked about the dive, we got our log books filled in if we had one and were issued a certificate to say we could dive down to a certain depth. This certificate would let me go for other dives while I was on vacation in Crete.