With a healthy mixture of apprehension and excitement, we were up early for a quick breakfast on board, before getting ready for the first of 2 training dives. The idea of these was to practice what was previously learnt in the confines and relevant comfort of the swimming pool. This time however, we had to deal with 5m depth (instead of 2m in the pool), equalising, currents, average visibility, and the excitement of being underwater for 45 minutes at a time.
We all breezed through the training dives, reassuring ourselves that we were able to equalise on descent, control our breathing and buoyancy underwater, and clear our masks 5m below the surface...among many other things. By the time we were done with these dives, we were ready to see what was out there. It had been a few weeks since we’d started the process, but were yet to be able to explore the depths confidently.
The next 2 days all passed by in a bit of a flurry. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather, and were able to do 7 dives in the 2 days. As this was the first time diving for most of us, we were in awe of the underwater life that had previously eluded us. Fortunate enough to see a black-tip shark, a few rays, and some other sizeable fish, we couldn’t complain with our first haul of underwater wildlife sightings.
We got pretty slick at getting our gear on, off and cleaned over the 2 days, but the real life savers were the crew on board the boat. Without them, the weekend would have been considerably less enjoyable. There is a lot of work that needs to go on behind the scenes to make these trips happen. Whether it’s constantly feeding 12 active people, or keeping all the tanks topped up, the kit clean and organised, and the boat still functioning and navigating from dive site to dive site.
We all absolutely loved diving, and thought that Tioman was a great place to learn. We can’t wait to see what else is out there, and to explore some new sites in many of the dive spots around South East Asia. As far as team building weekends go, 2 days on a boat doing some diving is right up there.
Diving also brings in the need for a completely new form of communication. As you are required to be in constant communication with your dive buddy at all times underwater, you have to learn the signals, and be able to understand what your buddy, or the dive masters is communicating, obviously without being able to speak. As such, not only is diving a physical workout, but there is a lot of concentration and thinking that needs to go on throughout. As far as leisure activities go, it really does combine a number of skills, that all add up to an awesome experience, and one that I couldn’t recommend more, specially if you can get away with it being a team building activity!!
We were all exhausted come the end of the weekend, and happy to make it back to Singapore as certified open water divers, able to dive down to 18m anywhere in the world. Now it was take to get back to the day job, at the opposite end of the adventure spectrum...from underwater fun, to aerial activities and zip wires at our adventure park, and in particular, the MegaZip.
Let’s see what’s next!