Friday, September 23, 2011

Pulau Tioman Island, Malaysia - Scuba Diving

Surprise, Surprise! I was in Malaysia and Singapore last week for Korea's Chuseok holiday. We won't go into how I couldn't get out of there.
(lie. I will later.)

The ultimate highlight of my trip was, by far, the scuba diving. The day before, I had gone snorkeling and was like, "Oh man, this is the coolest thing I've ever done -- it's so beautiful!"  And then I went diving. Knocked it outta the ballpark, I tell 'ya.

We suited up on Thursday morning and went out into the shallow beach to complete our "skills" with the instructor so that we'd be able to go on the boat dive later that afternoon. I've done dives in pools before and thought this would be a piece of cake. Wrong. I was so wrong. As I went under with regulator-in-mouth, I noticed so many more bubbles coming up from my mouthpiece, compared to everyone else's (at least I thought I did). I started feeling short of breath, because I thought something was wrong. I had to come up out of the water before I could even complete the first task! I just panicked. Inhale. Exhale. I took a few deep breaths and went back under. And that's when I began picturing my gangly self 12m underwater, having a moment, but unable to just come up. And I panicked again. And came up. I starting thinking, "%&$*! I'm not gonna be able to do this!"
Oh, but I did.
Eventually, that is.

I finally reached the state of regular breathing and a calm mind and, thus, completed my five diving skills. We hit the boat after lunch and shortly thereafter, went on the most exciting adventure of my life (so far). I knew that once I saw "cool stuff," the nerves would just drift away. And that's precisely what happened. My instructor had to keep pulling me back towards her, because I was just too excited and kept trying to ditch her (I admit, I'm no better than those crazy, rule-breaking Chinese tourists). It was the most gorgeous, peaceful blue oasis. I could've stayed down there forever and become a mermaid.
Anna & I ready to go
Below are pictures of some of the marine life I witnessed firsthand (pulled from and linked to original sites).

Blacktip reef shark

1) Red-breasted warasse and, 2) Six-banded angelfish

1) Blue-spotted stingray, 2) Tri-color parrot fish

 Mappa pufferfish

1) Hawksbill turtle and, 2) Boers batfish

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