Saturday, August 7, 2010

Diving in Vietnam is not like diving in Thailand.

So diving in Nha Trang was mildly disappointing. I think at this point (despite learning to dive in Taiwan) I have the whole experience built up in my head.

It was certainly different.

The view from the boat.

Diving in Thailand was similar to diving with Emil, I think mostly because he has been an instructor in Thailand and that's probably the atmosphere he's used to as far as teaching. Because of this, I kind of had an idea of how diving should work... Apparently it's not the same everywhere though. I know, "Duh, Jimmie."

In Thailand they help you get all your gear and watch you when you put it all together, but you do all the work. You check the O-rings on your tank valve. You put the BCD on and connect all the hoses. You get your weight belt and put all your stuff together. You are responsible for doing your buddy checks (while the DM looks on of course).

With this dive outfit it was just a little different.

I don't know if they were trying to appeal to people's vacation laziness and therefore going for the we-do-everything-for-you-and-you-just-dive aspect of what. I found it a little patronizing and a little unnerving.

And because they put everything together for you they weren't really encouraging people to make sure they do a full and proper buddy-check.

The O-ring on my tank blew right after I had gotten all strapped into my BCD, which was alarming to say the least but also left me a little less confident in whether or not they were putting safety before the speed it takes for two people to put together gear for 30 people.

I enforced a buddy check with my buddy anyway, which was probably good because she hadn't done any diving since she had gotten her certification two years before.

Oh, also, the water in Vietnam has a very distinct thermocline and it got cold underneath that line. I was so glad we were wearing full-body wet suits. 

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. The conditions weren't that great, but we still saw some really amazing stuff despite the low visibility.

I mean, we saw a baby lion fish right off the bat.

The instructor was nice and fun, but he and I spent a lot of time chasing down the two other girls in our group who were all over the place and kept shooting up to the top. Our dive profiles probably looked horrific.

In addition to the lion fish, I also saw an eel (not just in a hole it was actually swimming/slithering around) and like six lobster in a cave. The swim-throughs were probably the most disconcerting but I managed and I was proud of myself.

After a morning of diving, though, I was beat. I went back to my hotel room, took a shower and a quick nap and then went to the beach for a couple of hours to just sit around.

I ended up getting hassled by this lady selling jewelry to the point that I bought a new ankle bracelet just to get her to leave me the heck alone because she seriously wasn't taking no for an answer. It was ridiculous.

Alas, my beach time had to come to an end and I got on the night bus to Hoi An.

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