<#306 Reporter’s Sketch>
Travel into a Water World
By Seo Jung-eun, Tribune Cub-reporter
What one item do you think is most desired by travel lovers? I think it is a map of the world. When you spread out a world map, you can see hundreds of countries in the world. However, one thing forms the bulk of the earth’s surface: It is the deep, blue ocean. A few months ago, as I was trying to plan my winter holidays, and an interesting idea flashed across my mind. How about visiting the ocean? So I, quite possibly the biggest fan of visiting other countries, decided to explore an unknown place during my first winter vacation as a university student. After a long investigation, I realized that scuba diving would be my way to travel in the ocean. Three years ago, as a freshman in secondary school, I visited Thailand to enjoy my short winter vacation. At that time, I went scuba diving once and fell in love with that exiting feeling. So this time, I wanted to become licensed so that I could enjoy the diving anywhere in the world. As soon as final exams were over, I left for Phuket, one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand.
Phuket is an island off the south-west coast of Thailand. It has perfect weather and many clean and beautiful beaches for divers from all around the world. All scuba gear and lessons are provided for both recreational divers and certified divers so that many tourists visit to experience the underwater world. There are many courses and licenses that international divers can get: Discover Scuba Diving is a trial course for tourists, Scuba Diver is for beginning level divers, the Open Water Diver course will certify you as a diver, and Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water courses offer you even more opportunities. I signed up for the Open Water Diver course rented the equipment.
The program progressed in a particular sequence. At the very beginning, students had to attend a lecture about equipment and danger zones in the water. Despite what I was expecting, the class was not boring at all because every matter that required attention was not only chronicled in the book but also explained with various kinds of pictures or videos and all of them were related to keeping alive underwater. Next, we practiced how to dive in limited sections in the sea or a swimming pool, and finally we were permitted to dive freely in the open water.
When I first got into the water, I exhibited a hand signal to come up from the water because it was really hard for me to breathe underwater and I felt like I was dying. But, in a short time, I became aware of how to use my regulator and scuba tank and I could enjoy the magnificent spectacle of a whole new world. On the last day, I was even able to dive 20m deep. I cannot describe how exciting, charming or picturesque the water-land I traveled was, but I’m so sure that you would have just as brilliant and marvelous moments if you know how to dive freely. Also I want you to know that learning scuba diving in our own country is possible and the license can be used to apply for many camp counselor programs like CCUSA. So why don’t you join this mysterious and appealing world I have?