First Days In The Pool

on Sunday, 7 March 2010

We have finished our first day of scuba in the pool. We were learning the procedures for using each others regulators and how to clear our mask and assemble and disassemble our kit. As we had dived before he rushed us through some of the basics, our instructor, Geoff was from Blackpool, but had an Indian apprentice with him who was doing the instructing and being tested. After we had finished we picked up our scuba manual and other bits from the office. These will have to be posted home as soon as possible because we have no room for carrying them around for 11 months. We get a taxi back to the area near the beach, along the way the taxi driver tells us to shut the windows and lock the doors, we do as he says and about 50m up the road the road is blocked by a crowd, there is a makeshift DJ booth and the people dancing in the street are covered in coloured paints and are in a trance like state.One white girl who looks totally out of place is totally off her rocker and starts banging on the windows. We ask the taxi driver what it is and are told it is a celebration called Holi. Unfortunately I was too slow with the camera to get any photos. We get back to the beach and decide to try and find a replacement room as we couldn’t get any space at the one nearer the scuba centre. We end up getting a room, very similar to our previous room but also includes a television and a slightly bigger bathroom at a place called Francisco's hostel. Even though there seems to be an ant nest behind the shower taps. We get it for 425R(£6) a night for the two of us and book it up for the next 5 days, which should be enough for us to finish the scuba course. We have another pool day tomorrow starting at 1.30pm then a day off on Monday, we then have our open water dives on Tuesday and Wednesday and hope to leave for Mumbai, Thursday afternoon. Today we have been offered by a bar tender called Salil at one of the beach bars we have been eating and drinking at that we can stay at his house and use his car when in Mumbai. I can’t imagine we would want to be driving in Mumbai though. We have hired a moped for the next 24hrs from another bartender called Albert, planning to use it to get to and from the market we were planning to visit and also to and from the scuba tomorrow. Unfortunately we have asked around and the market has already closed so we have missed that. We are just having a shower with the ants and getting ready for some food and probably a few buy 1 get 1 free Carlsberg for 80R(£1.15), less than 60p each…happy days!

Our plan to go back to the bar for some more buy 1 get 1 free Carlsberg didn’t happen as we found out that today is a “dry day” due to the elections going on. We also find that we had been duped about the market and in fact it was open till 4am. Apparently there is another night market back in Anjuna on Wednesday, so we plan on checking that out instead. So we have an early one and just watch Braveheart in the room. The next morning we get up late at about 11am and end up going out for some lunch before heading straight to the scuba area slightly earlier than we were supposed to. Tom drives to the scuba centre with me riding pillion. I would prefer to spend my first dive, diving with great whites than getting back on that bike. We have to watch a couple more DVD’s before our next pool session where we learn a few more skills, getting our buoyancy level right and removing and putting on the kit in the water. We manage to get a few photos of us in action, somehow I end up with the pink mask which is nice. We now just have the open water dives to do on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by the test.