A group of pupils recently enjoyed a diving trip to Rawa. The group varied in their diving experience from those gaining their PADI Open Water qualification to those more proficient.
Some pupils reflect on their trip.
Before the trip we had training in our pool. We learnt about the equipment, how to use it correctly and how we would react in certain situations once we were diving in open water.
The pool diving was a very relaxed environment and the perfect way to introduce us to diving as we were told that once we got into the sea it would be completely different.
– Cameron Andriesz
With its fine white sand and crystal clear waters, Rawa Island is a piece of paradise located off the east coast of Malaysia. It was a short boat ride from the port of Mersing.
The people on Rawa Island were so welcoming and friendly. Unlike most common beaches and islands around South East Asia, no roads can be found in Rawa, which makes it very natural. As well as the stunning scenery we saw peacocks which are one of many exotic bird species that can be seen on Rawa.
– Thishyant Raj Radha
Open Water Training
Instantly we realised how different diving in open water was compared to the feeling in the pool.
There were quite a lot of waves during most of the dives and we had to swim against them to reach the location of our dive. Once we were underwater we also had to take into account currents and as a diving protocol we always started the dive by swimming against the current so that we would have energy on our return.
We completed four dives for our certification and learned so many skills. The main skill was how to descend properly. We started by descending with a rope and then progressed to descending with a visual reference and then without any reference once we were in the open water.
The skill we all found the hardest was buoyancy. Half of us sank too much with the other half floating to the surface. By our last dive though we were hovering about one meter off the seabed throughout the dive which is the ideal position alongside our buddy (diving partner).
Out of the water we were taught how to effectively plan for dives; this included the route of our dive, depth, the objective of our dive and how much air we required. Something which we were continually practicing were our hand signals which are essential for effective communication underwater.
– Keith Teh
Alongside the diving I was amazed by how many species of fish I saw. The most common were clownfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, and angelfish. On the second dive, I saw a cuttlefish which was camouflaged with the coral next to it, and the group also spotted a stingray which was incredible.
This was my first dive experience and it was amazing. I definitely plan to do more dives very soon.
– Jonas Ashworth