One of the most fun parts about living overseas is that you get to meet some of the most interesting people from all over the world. One of the people that we have met through work owns a dive shop (Cebu Dive Centre) in the Philippines – he said the diving there was great so we decided we’d go there to get our certification. He’s the safety manager on our project so we thought if anyone would run a safe operation, it would be him. We spent the first day in the pool learning to breathe underwater, equalize while we descend, clear our masks underwater, and many other skills.
The next day, we walked out behind the dive shop out about a hundred meters and then descended onto the House Reef. It was incredible! We saw all kinds of fish, neat crabs, and my absolute favorite part – a sea turtle. He was sitting there in the reef and just turned around and looked at us. I was close enough that if I had reached my arm out, I would have touched his shell. It was amazing…all of my fears about scuba diving went away and I was so happy. I had always wanted to see a sea turtle and to get this close was fantastic. We did a second dive on the same reef but went the other direction and we saw even more beautiful fish, colorful sea creatures, and we were lucky enough to see yet another sea turtle. I was in heaven. Unfortunately he didn’t want us to take pictures because he wanted us focused on learning to do things correctly rather than worry about getting pictures (good advice, but I wish I could have grabbed some shots of some of the great sea creatures we saw).
The last day were our final dives before we had our full open water dive certification. We hopped on the boat and were at Pescadore Island in less than 15 minutes. We jumped out of the boat and down we went.
At first site, we saw a large school of sardines – they are particularly cool because of the way they move together and how the light hits their silvery skin. With two open water dives already under our belt, we were much more confident and able to take care of just about everything on our own. The icing on the cake was that we saw a sea turtle swimming away from us right at the end of the dive – 3 sea turtle sightings in just 2 days. Our final dive was just as wonderful as the others and when we all got out, we felt so accomplished – we had our open water dive certification! Now we’ll be able to go on a lot more crazy adventures under the sea together!
The picture above is a group shot with our instructor, Geom – he was great! He took some videos for us on our last day of diving so I’ll see if I can get some of the footage up so you can check it out.