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Diving accreditation is a good thing to have if you have anything to do with boats.
There are a myriad of tasks that might require you to be underwater. Anchor retrieval, hull inspection/cleaning, propellor inspection/maintenance, and lots more.
Apart from that, experiencing the undewaterworld is something that needs to be experienced.
So, Colleen and I decided to attempt the PADI Open Water corse, and we couldn’t think of a better place to do it than DayDream Island.
Prior to booking the course, it was necessary to obtain a Scuba Medical. We underwent an exhaustive check at a specialist workplace clinic. The test revealed that I have 15% hearing loss, which was news to me.
Arriving into Hamilton Island, we caught the ferry across to Daydream and checked in. We were handed our course notes at check-in, and told to report to the diving instruction room early next morning.
Our room was lovely, except that the TV wasn’t working – despite my attempts at fixing it. A quick phonecall and the maintence bloke turned up with a brand new TV… can’t fault the service there!
Next morning we sat down with our dive instructor Emily Marshall and a young American back-packer who was travelling Australia alone. Brave girl. I’m quite good with technical knowledge and absorb information like a sponge, but Colleen had very little in the way of a technical background and struggled with the large amount of dry data but eventually got through it all. Emily wanted to give us as much time in the water as possible so we skimmed through and needed to do some reading after hours.
Eventually it was out to the dive shack to get kitted up. There sure is a lot of stuff to put on!! Then it was into the pool. I’m a fish so it was all second nature for me, but I was so proud of Colleen who battled through and managed to complete every skill. One thing she WAS better than me was the very difficult skill of floating. A required skill is to stay afloat for ten minutes. I had to dog paddle, but bloody Colleen just lay there floating! We also had to swim 200 meters, which I sped through and then did a few extra laps (thanks Em!) while the girls finished theirs.
We ticked all of the necessary skill boxes, so it was all systems go for our first ocean dive next morning. We still had some reading to do overnight, but the strenuous activity of the day had taken it out of us and we fell asleep over the books.
Next morning it was straight to the dive shack to kit up for the ocean dive. Our first dive was down to 8m, and was amazing. We completed two dives that day, with another two dives the next day (down to 14m) and successful completion of the test.
We then ferried across to Airlie Beach to start our next trip out on XTsea.