Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sickly Scuba Stint...

Note: This blog was written a few days ago, we just got to a place with good internet - so only posting it now.

What: Open Water PADI Course
Where: Tofo, Mozambique
When: Jan, 2010
Why: to breathe under the sea!

Obstacle 1

Accom: Fatima's Nest Backpackers
The night before Leonie (a lovely Dutch girl we are travelling with) and I were to start our PADI course at 8AM turned out to be the MASSIVE party night at Fatima's... we were awake until 3:30AM with music blaring into our room (it felt like the speakers were against the door). Although we would have liked to join them, the prospect of doing scuba theory all day with a hangover was less than appealing.

Obstacle 2
Food Poisoning, Water Poisoning, or just plain Mozambiquan poisoning.
On day one of the PADI course I came down with a horrible stomach bug... in class I had to keep running to the toilet to throw up, and I felt like I had a temperature of 'boiling point!'
That night I was so sick Tim and another friend we met, Ben had to put me to bed!! Not a good start!

Obstacle 3
Poisoning Cont...
Chaustrophobia - on the second day we had to start pool dives and I was met with overwhelming panic attacks about drowning in either the Tofo Scuba pool, or the Inidian Ocean. After 3 scrambles to the surface for fresh air, I managed to conquer the fear enough to continue with the dives (at least outwardly) - meanwhile in my mind I was still imagining every worst scenario possible, including shark attacks. I kept thinking of that PSYCHO man who left his wife to drown at the bottom of the ocean whilst diving... cruel cruel man!

Obstacle 4

I have never experienced sea sickness in my life, but if it was going to happen - it was going to happen now. Leonie and I kit up to go on our first two open water dives... we hop in the speedboat and cruise out to "Clownfish Reef", as the anchor hits the sand - I start to vomit... and I am rendered absolutley senseless and have to pull out of dive 1 and lie on the floor of the boat wishing to be anywhere but there. I kept thinking if I ever get back to land I'm getting the first fing flight home - clearly that didn't happen (going home that is). I was still sick for dive 2, so the boat took me into land and dropped me a 100m from shore - Marlena (one of the dive staff) had to accompany me through the waves to land... I feel SO SORRY for her!! I was clawing all over her to keep me afloat, vomiting and being dunked by the waves... as the manager waited on the beach for us (probably thinking something serious had happened to me). A lovely South African guy (Mike) we met in Tofo came to my rescue with anti-nausea tablets... I owe him my first million!

Obstacle 5
Sea Sickness Cont...
Poisoning ceased - so has my ability to eat anything other than bread, rice and cereal (without milk that is). I manage to complete the Open Water dives 1 and 2 (a day behind my group) whilst vomiting in between on the boat and in the water (grosssss)
Malaria Tablets + Tofo Sun = BURN BABY BURN
I am burnt all over, and I was lathered with sunscreen all day!! The malaria tablets make my skin a magnet for UV Rays. Mike, my new found savior came to the resuce AGAIN with 'burnaid' - tea tree oil and water mixture which soothes the skin... I owe him my second million now also.... as my hands were so burnt I couldn't even pick up a fork or pen for more then 10 seconds!

Obstacle 6
Tomorrow are my last two dives and then I'm qualified... at what cost you might be thinking?? Well, every inch of my dignity, my faith in luck, and my sanity!
Tonight is also Wednesday (another huge party night at Fatima's) so there will be no sleep again, and I have to dive at 8AM.
I fear what lays in store for me tomorrow, as I think Neptune (that god of the ocean or water) is trying to tell me NEVER to enter his domain again. As I sip on my glass bottle coke (my only happiness right now) I prepare for anything the ocean has to throw at me:

- A plauge of Jellyfish

- Jaws starring Jess

- Death of the Little Aussie Mermaid


I managed not to die... I was sea sick still and vomiting all over the place... there wasn't a plague of Jellyfish, but I DID swim through what seemed like a plague during my 50m ocean swim, and got stung all over my face... I nearly cried at that moment!!
Luckily, I made it to shore safe... and passed my PADI course (let me tell you I have NO desire to dive in the next month or so!!!)

At the moment Tim and I are in Vilankulos, and today we spent the day on a local Dhow - which is a traditional sailing boat.... they took us out to one of the islands where we went snorkelling (no sea sickness!!!) and they cooked us a lunch of fish and crabs - deliciouso!! (they speak Portugese here, so it's quite a struggle holding convo!!)

We have decided to head inland tomorrow and leave on a bus for Chimmoi at 4:30AM tomorrow... apparantly we have to be there at 3:30AM (RIDICULOUS!!!!)
PS. Sorry for spelling!!! Spell check isn't working ;)

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