Gili T day 5: Paradise (incl. Bali belly…)

Tonight, I am once again in too much pain to be able to go through pictures and write a blog post. But it will be uploaded tomorrow 🙂

2022-10-09, 19:00

Yesterday was a perfect day in paradise, and that of course includes Bali belly. It is manageable, but in the evening and nights it gets really bad. But during the day, if I don’t move or dive, it’s fine. The day started with amazing weather and since Mikael’s sinuses were a bit off since the dive the previous afternoon, we skipped the first fin dive and decided to do the afternoon one to Meno Wall, since we hadn’t done it before. So the morning was spent doing nothing, lying on the beach, eating bruschettas, cooling down in the ocean. It was the perfect morning. I finally got some time to read! And I finally got a little tan, haha.


At breakfast it was a bit cloudy, but that cleared up as soon as we left the hotel for the beach again.

The dive at 2:30pm was to Meno Wall, a new dive site to us. The dive itself was great, but it was depressing how much dead coral it was there. We saw tons of turtles again, a tiny tiny pink nudibranch and an almost as small black seaslug. It was a great last dive, these walls of coral is pretty awesome. We also saw three big puffer fish, one yellow which was pretty cool.

We paid for all of our 14 dives and it totaled to 380 SEK per dive. That’s pretty good for boat dives, everything included.

Our last day on Gili T ended at Scallywags restaurant where we decided to go all in. We both had grilled lobster for dinner (first time ever for me). And with drinks (which I couldn’t finish, even if it was a mango daquiry, my stomach just said no) and deserts the check ended up at 1 800 000 Rupiah. But that’s still only 600 SEK per person, haha! But it’s impressive to manage such a check on Gili. Normally our dinners end up at 300-400, maybe 600 if it’s been a nicer dish like mahi mahi.

It was good, but more meat-y than crawfish that we are used to eating. The moon was one day away from being full, it was warm as usual, good food (several nice toilets visits) and good company made it a very nice last evening 🙂

Gili T day 4: More diving

Bali Belly is apparently a common thing and it’s still ongoing for me. But much better today. Now it’s basically just cramps, which is pretty bad in itself, but it could be a lot worse I guess.

This morning was the best so far. The view from our breakfast was incredible, the sky was almost clear and it was really warm at 7 already.

I decided that my stomach was well enough for a dive and we tried the 9am fun dive with Blue Marlin today to Sharkpoint. We had the same divemaster Rahman but got another couple joining us, a 30-year old pair from Australia. We saw the same baby sharks as the other day under the rock but today there were countless other divers (last time it was just the three of us), so it took away some of the amazement. But it was cute that three of the sharks were sleeping all lined up next to each other.

We also saw a couple of morays, one of which were swimming. A blue-spotted stingray. A tiny tiny nudibranch and of course a ton of tropical fishes and corals. I saw no turtles on this dive, first dive here I didn’t see any.

On the way back, my stomach was acting up a bit, but after lunch, we relaxed by the pool for a bit and then went to the second dive today at 14. On Friday’s there’s only two dives instead of three because of the longer prayer from the Mosque.

The second dive today was Bounty Wreck and we were ready for revansch after last time when we had technical issues with my BCD being too big and the current. I don’t think we can call it a rematch yet. This was a stressful dive in other ways but I think everything worked out fine.

So for this dive we had an elder Dutch couple (50 maybe?) Joining us and Rahman. They said they had around 50-60 dives, which would make them fairly experienced. We descended and started the dive as usual but after around half, just when I’m about to swim up to three big turtles lying next to each other on the ground, I see Rahman shoot back and I turn around and see Mikael swimming towards me and behind him, halfway up to the surface is a bubbly mess of one of our diving buddies. Her husband was further down, trying to get Rahman to help him help his wife who kept ascending. For those of you who don’t dive, that’s bad! You can’t get up that quickly from 18m depth without doing a safety stop of 3 minutes on 5m depth. The risk of decompression sickness is much higher if you don’t make the stop. Mikael and I ascended a bit but stayed at least at 10m and let Rahman handle the situation. Eventually she came back down and the dive continued. She signaled she was fine. So we descended again and continued.

We were at the wreck itself for only a few minutes, much air was lost and we needed to end the dive.

Later, she seemed fine and told us that she couldn’t deflate her BCD when trying to maintain her boyancy under water. I hope she didn’t get decompression sickness. Because that’s bad!

When we all surfaced, I panicked a little when I saw Mikael’s face. He had blood all over his cheek. And when he removed his mask, his face was so bloody!! His sinuses had burst while descending after the woman came down from her “accident”. He could feel it then, something warm filling his mask, but he thought is was mucus. So he did half of the dive with a mask full of blood. I’m glad that he had a mask with UV protected glass. I would have freaked out underwater if I saw his bloody face. We would have had to ended the dive. Apparently it’s not too uncommon for this to happen. But it looked gruesome!

After the dive, we went to the hotel, relaxed for a short bit and got ready for dinner. We met up with the Australians and had dinner at Pearl. It was a very nice evening. And in the background, over Lombok, there was an ongoing massive thunderstorm the whole evening so we had lightning lighting up the sky all the time. It was beautiful.

Gili T day 2: Diving, snorkeling, bicycling

Since I think that I got something with my stomach and sun stroke, I am too tired to do this tonight. I will post twice tomorrow instead 🙂

But until then, WordPress started working again and I could upload the last pictures from yesterday. Link to the post is here.

2022-10-06, 15:00

So the stomach bug is pretty bad. Dizzy, nauseated, stomach cramps, faint, and weak. And still we prepared for this with vaccinations. Maybe it would have been worse. The sunstroke was really bad last night, I was freezing like I’ve never frozen before. I got a fever and in combination with the stomach cramps, I was not feeling very strong. It’s getting better though. The fever has gone down, but my stomach is still pretty bad. Mikael lucked out on the sun stroke, but also got stomach issues, not as bad as me though.

Yesterday morning stated with a dive with Blue Marlin Dive at Bounty Wreck. The worst one so far because of the gear not fitting. My BCD was too big, the straps of my mask kept sliding down onto my ears, my regulator didn’t really seemed to stay in my mouth, the visibility was only around 10m, and the current was annoying. We had to swim against it at several times and it was tough. It was a pretty cool dive still though. We saw two octopi, several turtles, nudibranches and the wreck itself, a sunken pier full of corals, was really pretty!

We decided we would skip on the second dive to Halik since we did that one already and wanted to relax for a bit. So we rented bikes and rode up north to Turtle Beach where we had lunch at Laguna Beach Resort. Mikael had the tuna sandwich and I had the Mie Goreng (fried noodles with vegetables and egg) and as soon as we finished we both got super dizzy and nauseated. It was so weird. We took a couple of sunbeds and lied down. Went snorkling for a bit and saw three turtles. We were feeling a bit better and decided to bike around the island to watch the sunset on the other side. It took us an hour in total to ride around the whole island, and we were not going fast. Up north, there were only sandy paths and so many sketchy places that sold sketchy things.

The west side of the island was unexploited, much land for sale, very empty, many hotels under renovations. Our agency told us that side was quieter than the east where we are staying and yes it is quieter but I didn’t want to stay there. Also, the beaches were rocky and you couldn’t be in the water because of the rocks.

The sunset was was unfortunately not visible behind clouds. I imagine them being quite amazing here! We were planning to get up at 5:30 to watch the sunrise this day, but decided to take that another time. Those I know can be amazing!

We jumped in the pool before going to our room, I was freezing and used the little hot water we had. Mikael brewed me a cup of tea and I lay in the bed for a long time before managing to get up and get dressed so we could have dinner on the beach. My stomach was really upset but I managed to get a nacho plate down which did me great!

Back in the room, I fell asleep instantly so the episode of Rings of Power that we started will have to wait.

Gili T day 1: Diving

Today was all about diving, we managed to get in 3 dives and that’s basically all we did today. No, wait, I did manage to get a bit of a sunburn on my nose as well. Even if we stayed under water all day, haha!

Breakfast today was served on the beach. Bacon and pancakes and pineapple juice. Great start of the day. Then we packed our bag and walked four minutes to Blue Marlin Dive. Like I said yesterday, we had signed up for all three fun dives today and wow, we were definitely in for a treat without even being able to imagine beforehand.

I’ll give you a spoiler before reading on, these were the three dive sites:
* Halik Reef
* Turtle Haven
* Sharkpoint

I can say that it only got better and better with each dive. And I’ll let you know why. All of the dives were from a boat and we were several small groups going. One group consisted of up to 5-6 divers and a dive master. Our first dive at Halik, we were three divers and one master. Mikael and I had the same dive master on all three dives and on the first one we had a guy, Alex, from Switzerland.

Well, Halik was a really cool dive, but I guess I have to say that it also was a great experience in my still young diving career. It was a current dive, which neither of us has even done before. And today, the current was really strong! What that means, is that you just lie there, letting the current take you along. It was scary, but afterward, we heard we did great. Alex, the Swiss guy with over 80 dives, said it was the toughest dive he’s ever done. So I guess it was for us as well as it was our number 11 and 7, haha. The first thing I saw when we descended from the surface, was a turtle grazing the bottom! That’s when I knew it was gonna be a great day! I saw another turtle on the reef side while drifting by. Mikael unfortunately didn’t see any of them. We also saw a puffer fish, sea cucumbers and lots and lots of tropical fish.

Our second dive was to Turtle Haven. Mikael and I got the same dive master, but three new companions, three girls from Brazil I think. No current on this dive which was great! But there were however about 10 turtles, a few of them really massive!! Our dive master said they might have been as old as 80 because of their size. It was hard using the GoPro with these three girls with us as they were chasing the turtles. Not okay behaviour according to me. Why not just look at them from a distance that’s not disturbing their peace? On this dive, we also saw two nudibranches.

The third dive, it was just Mikael and I with the same dive master. This was an incredible dive as well. Because this was the first time I dove with sharks! But that was not all. We saw 3 octupi, one was a really big one! We saw a blue-spotted stingray, a rare leaf scorpionfish, a moray eel, many turtles, and a sleeping trigger fish which was cute. In total we saw 6 white tipped reef sharks. All babies. Four of them were sleeping under a rock, one was swimming next to them (these were maybe 1m big each) and the last one was swimming out in the open when we left the sleeping babies. It was a little bit bigger, maybe 1,2m. It was soo cool! And we were calm and everything was just peaceful. Now, I wanna see the big ones!

On the way up to the boat on the last dive, Mikael got stung by something. Probably just manta ray food (can’t remember the name), or a jellyfish. Either way, not dangerous, but it burned quite a bit.

The water temperature at the surface was 30C and at the bottom, at 18-20m was 29C. Not bad at all! ❤ I had my own 3mm full wet suit, but the dive club only had shorties to rent, that’s why I didn’t get stung by anything, but Mikael did.

I somehow got burned in my face today. I don’t understand why. But apparently I did. We have been diving all day, and been on a boat with a roof. Oh well.

We had mahi mahi for dinner with a fruity drink on the beach right outside our hotel. It was windy today, but clear sky so we could see the moon. Tiny cats, not more than 2kg each were running around begging for food. We miss our 5,5kg ones at home. And we’re so happy that mom sends us updates all the time <3.

As I have my job computer with me, and not any good tools for screenshots from the videos today, I won’t be uploading too many photos today. So stay tuned for the rest (or at least much better photos) when we’re back in Sweden! 🙂

The camera took photos every 5 seconds during filming, here are the best ones:

Halik Reef


Puffer fish.

Large sea cucumber.

Turtle Haven


Black nudibranch with white spots on the right side of the white coral.

Black nudibranch with white large spots/spikes just below the round coral in the upper middle part of the picture.

Photo bomb.

Shark Point

The rest of the pictures will come tomorrow. It doesn’t seem like WordPress wants to cooperate anymore….


Sleeping trigger fish.

Baby sharks under the rock!

Another baby shark.

The black in the bottom middle is an octopus.

The shark is exavtly in the middle of the picture.

The shark is in the far right middle.

The shark is in the exact middle of the photo.

Low middle.

Down right corner.

Clownfish.

Blue spotted stingray.

Black clownfish.

Scuba Diving

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

My 8th dive ever was in Anthony Quinn Bay here on Rhodes. 50 Euro for everything, all gear rented and a boat dive. Crazy cheap! It was also so warm in the water that a shortie 2.5mm wetsuit was needed. Crazy! Jesper doesn’t have a certification yet so he had to wait at the beach. That was too bad. Until next trip he definitely has to have gotten it. There was not super much to see like it was in San Diego, but it was nice to do it again since it was almost a year ago I did it last time. Good to maintain the skill. We found lots of snorkeling masks, a sunbed table and a sunken boat along ancient Greek vases and stuff and fish. When we took our safety stop, we fed fishes, there were tons of them just centimeters from our faces.

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After the dive we drove to Tsambika where we spent a few hours on the right side of the beach. We had sunbeds there and included in the price were two slushees. That was so needed in the heat. The snorkeling was not as good on the right side as on the left, so we will probably spend all of tomorrow (our last day!!) at the left side tomorrow.

We left at 6pm to go to Lindos so we would have time to get to the Akropolis. We followed the trail of donkeys which you could pay to ride one up. We walked, it wasn’t too bad. The acropolis was really cool. Much was restorated, and I hope they will restore more, I am sure it would look incredible. We walked down to the village, which is the cutest village ever. We found the best restaurant and had a really really good dinner there. It was called Stefany’s and was a family-owned restaurant with tables on 3 different roof levels. I loved that restaurant!

IMG_20160708_185545 IMG_20160708_184503 IMG_20160708_184546 IMG_20160708_185014 IMG_20160708_185047 IMG_20160708_185327 IMG_20160708_190219 IMG_20160708_191232 IMG_20160708_190448 IMG_20160708_190836 IMG_20160708_191953 IMG_20160708_191316 IMG_20160708_192557 IMG_20160708_193459 IMG_20160708_193800 PANO_20160708_184506 IMG_20160708_205625 PANO_20160708_195053 IMG_20160708_211603 IMG_20160708_212930 IMG_20160708_213307 The handmade jewelry in Lindos was so cute!

We walked through the village and then drove back to Tsambika where we went for a late night swim. It was 10:30pm, very dark, and star-clear sky. There was a party going on at one side of the beach, but we were at the other side and enjoyed the warm evening under the stars. It was nice!

Now it is super late because of all our shenanigans today, so I will post pictures tomorrow. Here is one from on top of the akropolis though: Lindos Akropolis on Google Maps

Dive #7 Les Moyades

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Today was the nicest days we have had. Cloudless and so warm we were constantly sticky, and now we are both very red. I did put on sunscreen but I guess I should have done it more often than I did. It is not too bad, but it is definitely red.

IMG_20150811_064514Morning in Marseille.

My day started 6:30 am to get ready to go on two adventures. First, get myself to the dive center with the local buses. I am always nervous about doing that, but it worked out fine and I got there on time. The dive center had two companies working there and I went with Aquadomia and the two main people could speak English really well. It felt so nice to speak English here. I was a bit sceptic about this before. How could it only cost 89 euros and include everything? All the rented equipment, including a dive computer, and a boat dive as well. I am surprised and happy! It was a pretty short dive though, but it was still so worth it. The dive site was called Les Moyades and was in the national park (since two years) Calanques. We pretty much just dove around a rock and I really enjoyed the dive. It was only 31 minutes, and I kinda wished we could have been under longer. But we saw some pretty cool stuff like moray, starfishes, sea urchins, a scorpionfish, and lots of schools of Saloma. We saw some other specific fish too, but I am too lazy to get out of the couch and get my dive log, haha!

The surface temperature was apparently cold today, only 17C, and the bottom temperature 15C. I didn’t think it was cold at all, I was actually really warm when we were done. When I was on the boat, waiting to fall backward into the water I was burning up, sitting there in a 6.5mm wetsuit in that hot sun. I was scared of getting a heat stroke. So the “cold” water was welcome. The maximum depth today was 18 meters, that’s the deepest I’ve ever been before. Because of the great visibility, 20m+ it didn’t feel too scary.

We took a very fast boat out there and it was just so nice with the wind. But I was a bit afraid of falling over board, haha! We were back at the dive center around noon, I cleaned my equipment, filled out my log book and thanked the two guys (one was Vincent, but the other had such a French name I honestly don’t know what it was) and went back. It went smooth going back and I even got a couple of French tourist girls asking me for a specific beach. What’s crazy is that I actually knew where it was and told them how to get there and that they had to change bus on the way, haha!

DCIM100GOPROG0010805.Scirpionfish. DCIM100GOPROG0010720. DCIM100GOPROG0010726. DCIM100GOPROG0010734. DCIM100GOPROG0010775.Cool blue stuff.DCIM100GOPROG0010784. DCIM100GOPROG0010804. Highlighted scorpionfish.DCIM100GOPROG0020829. DCIM100GOPROG0020844. DCIM100GOPROG0020835. Snapshot - 102 Moray in the crevice.Snapshot - 123 Sea urchins.Snapshot - 108 Snapshot - 114 Snapshot - 117 DCIM100GOPROG0050973. DCIM100GOPROG0050998. DCIM100GOPROG0051029. DCIM100GOPROGOPR1052. The rock we dove around.DCIM100GOPROGOPR1057. DCIM100GOPROGOPR1087.Turtle island to the right.

I met up with Axel in the park behind the building we live in. Sat there for a while and just chilled. Then we went up to the apartment and got ready for the excursion to Calanques National Parc. We went on a tourist boat and it was okay. The tour guide only spoke French which was not very fun, and there were too many people on the boat. But the scenery was pretty amazing! But the only thing I could think about was how badly I wanted to jump in the water. It was so blue and it was so hot under the gazing sun. I got burned, but this might have been my last chance of getting any sun, so why not. It is not too bad, but my shorts gave me a pretty bad new tanline…

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The whole boat tour was 3.5 hours and we were back in the harbor at 7pm. Went straight to dinner and I had the best pasta carbonara I have ever had. Then we went to the same park by the building and watched the sunset. It was a very beautiful sunset.

IMG_20150811_185000 I almost feel bad for taking this selfie in the mirror thing down in old port…IMG_20150811_190628 The square where we had dinner today.hdr_00027_0hdr_00030_0

Then back up and I looked through the videos from the dive. They weren’t as good as I hoped. The blue color is not even close to what it was in real life. And the pictures are kinda blurry. Well well, it’s at least something.

Dive #6 – La Jolla Cove Outer Reef

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Last day in California with no sureness of when my return will be. That’s not good, and it makes this leaving harder than the last. Even if I look forward to go back home, I am still very sad to leave. Mixed feelings to say the least.

My last day started with a dive in the kelp forest. Today there was a third guy with us, he was from Germany. First we snorkeled for half an hour out to the forest, descended and started swimming to the more densely forested area. It was cold, and I was already shivering on the surface and it was even colder at the bottom. Bottom temperature today was only 53F (13C) and that made the whole dive not very enjoyable. But it was still cool to dive through the kelp. Total bottom time today was 59 minutes, but we were in the water for longer because of the snorkeling tour out. It took a long while before I could feel my feet again and even longer before I was warm.

We didn’t see any sharks today unfortunately. But we did see a banded ray, a giant black sea bass (only 40lbs though), lots of the orange fishes, the tuna crabs, and the other fish I can’t remember the names of, sea lions and I also saw a blue starfish. I am too tired to go through all the videos to try and find a good screenshot of the ray, sea bass and starfish. I will post them another day if I remember it.

I bought a chai latte on the way home, and once there I pretty much just took the poolcard and hung out at the pool for about four hours. I read some, I think I napped some, and then at 5pm Anna came. I haven’t seen her since I left a year and a half ago. We talked for an hour before we both had to leave.

Dinner with the family, then packing, all my suitcases are less than 23kgs, everything except my computer is packed and I am all ready to go. I looked through the pictures from today too, and all of them were okay today. I just didn’t look through the videos yet. Today the pictures got better, maybe I was trying to hold it more steadily while under water.

I am definitely going to bed now. 4 hours of sleep, awesome!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0003. Lots of tuna crabs.DCIM100GOPROG0010017. A seagull from under the surface.DCIM100GOPROGOPR0004. Two freeloaders on the instructor, haha!DCIM100GOPROG0030108. Most of the pictures looked similar.DCIM100GOPROG0030135. DCIM100GOPROG0040228. DCIM100GOPROG0040233. DCIM100GOPROG0060437. DCIM100GOPROG0060464. It was a completely different dive today, and it was really cool!DCIM100GOPROG0060496. DCIM100GOPROG0060497. Snapshot - 100 Snapshot - 103 Snapshot - 106 Snapshot - 108 Snapshot - 109-112Sea lion playing in the seagrass when we were heading out of the water. The water in there were so much warmer.

Dive #5 – La Jolla Cove Sea Caves

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

This whole day has been a happy one just because of one one-hour long dive in La Jolla. The conditions were perfect so I could choose to either to the kelp forest or the cave dive. I chose the cave and am so happy I did so. It was incredible and amazing and awesome and I thought it was such a great time that as soon as I got home, I booked another tour (to do the kelp forest) on Friday. Scuba diving is the best thing ever and I regret not getting my certification earlier.

I got to La Jolla Cove at 8am this morning, met with the instructor who would give me a private tour along the coastline right under the cliffs where sea lions hang out. In the beginning of the dive we saw lots of tuna crabs. Then we descended after hiking out a little bit. My regulator this time was so much easier to breathe through that I didn’t even think about my breathing at all, like I did during all my other dives up in SLO. There was a lot of sea grass in a dark red color and bright green. It was very pretty. And through it swam tons of big orange fish, the California state fish: Garibaldi Calico Bass (real name is Hypsypops Rubicundus). The visibility was 15-20ft and that was good enough for me, I could see plenty and I loved the view down there. We never went deeper down than 20ft which was good for a first dive. Water temp was just under 60F at the bottom and around 60F at the surface. But with a 7mm wetsuit I didn’t get cold. During the dive he showed me plenty of stuff, like lobsters and abalone’s. They are apparently very very expensive and their dead shell is very very pretty. We also saw sea lions once we got to the cave. We had just surfaces inside it when I hear him say to quickly look behind me. I panicked a little for a second and then went under water and saw a huge, 800lb, sea lion swimming a few feet away from me. Haha, crazy! There was also a sea lion lying on one of the cliffs in there. Oh right, speaking of sea lions, I accidently resurfaced right before going in the cave. It’s hard with the buoyancy, it shouldn’t be, but it happened, I got too positive and surfaced. And once I was above the surface I heard the screech of sea lions, looked up at the cliff right above me and saw a lot of big sea lions lying there watching me. Haha! They are kinda intimidating honestly.

We swam around inside the cave for a bit, then slowly headed back to the beach. Another thing we saw was a tiny sleeping horned shark. It wasn’t bigger than a feet and was sleeping inside a crevice well-hidden. But the instructors keen eyes found it. He has over 10,000 dives and is very experienced and I felt very safe diving with him.

We had a total of 63 minutes under water, which he said was very impressive for a beginner. Normally that dive was 45 minutes. I guess I am a natural, haha! Jk, but he said that I was very calm and didn’t seem like a beginner, and that felt really good to hear since I thought I was gonna die on dive #1 and #2 in Montaña de Oro.

Now I have 144 minutes under water, more than two hours, yay!

The way up to the truck was hard, the scuba equipment is heavy and walking up stairs with it was not fun, haha! We talked for a bit afterward, and I filled in my log book, got a stamp and then drove home. If anyone ever goes to San Diego to scuba dive, find Scuba San Diego Inc! $140 for one dive with all the equipment rented, $205 for two tanks. I am glad I didn’t do two dives, I would have been too tired. And now I have something to look forward to on Friday!

When I came home I started looking at the pictures. They turned out pretty good, but the videos were the best. And since none of the pictures from the cave and forward were damaged somehow, I decided to go through all the videos and take screenshots, and with the program VideoPad they turned out amazing! So today there are a lot of pictures in the blog.

Later in the afternoon I pretended to be an au pair again and picked up Nicki, who I hung out with in San Francisco during spring break with Helena. We went to La Jolla Westfield UTC to do some shopping. I bought a pair of flip flops and lots of underwear from VS. Mine are falling apart and I don’t know when I will get the chance to buy new ones next time. Good thing they don’t take space or weight from my suitcases. I still have weight left I think. But I am gonna save money if I am about to pay tuition to Cal Poly or SDSU next fall.

Wow, it is almost 3am… I should probably go to bed now, haha! It has been a fantastic day and I can’t wait for Friday when I am going to see the kelp forest and go down to 40ft. I have never been below 25, so that will be cool!

 

Here are Rod Watkins’ pictures from the dive today. He was fast at uploading them to Facebook.

11423748_914103205314813_5177575733712628462_o 1606509_914102251981575_1301084185661643743_o 10338598_914102211981579_3019543076083788694_o California’s state fish and an abalone.10900102_914101825314951_7493330563710473597_o 11059337_914101718648295_7681729652274419291_o Tuna crab.11402281_914101841981616_2004919292234400916_o 11536467_914102678648199_166303659190176965_o 800lb sea lion inside the cave.10446092_914102278648239_7081370884365601938_o Swimming in to the cave.10507070_914103061981494_5106383236332471865_o 10517137_914102341981566_3060282568738167103_o North entrance, to Coast Blvd.10995641_914102861981514_3519503756803124146_o South entrance to the ocean.11023819_914102518648215_2079516442316717754_o Sea lion resting.11112535_914102438648223_2597424519764871899_o 11202967_914102955314838_4873655722201694306_o 11393350_914102781981522_8775457395930558685_o 11425081_914102785314855_1974493588124309815_o Inside the cave.11425487_914102651981535_4229629511061322220_o

Waves hitting the razor reef.Extremely happy after a very successful dive :).

 

Here are my pictures from my gopro:

Snapshot - 92 Red, green, orange.Snapshot - 93 Snapshot - 94 Snapshot - 95 Snapshot - 2 Snapshot - 5 Snapshot - 7 Snapshot - 9 Lobster.Snapshot - 20 Snapshot - 11-13 This is a funny one. I was watching the videos tonight and I saw this sea lion swimming right above us. I had no idea this happened when we were out there, haha! Snapshot - 28 Alive abalone.Snapshot - 32 Beautiful colors.Snapshot - 35 This is what I faced when I accidentally surfaced, haha!Snapshot - 39 The cave.Snapshot - 41 Snapshot - 48 Snapshot - 53-60 This is me filming in the cave, the first picture on the upper left corner shows the sea lion swimming right next to me!Snapshot - 70-73 And this sea lion decided to swim right in front of us when we were outside of the cave.Snapshot - 87 Snapshot - 89 Snapshot - 90

Open Water Dive #3+4 (Coleman Beach) = SCUBA CERTIFIED

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

I have to say that I wasn’t too thrilled about scuba diving after yesterday’s disaster. Okay, no, it wasn’t a disaster, I actually did really well under the circumstances. But those dives were scary as shit and were way worse than the training open dives should be. But now I am aware of how bad it can be (haha, wow, I am really making it sound like it was a storm and we all almost drowned, it definitely wasn’t that bad), and it will only be better from now on. Like today was perfect! I enjoyed every second today and I can’t wait to get out there and dive again.

So today we did our two last open water dives before getting certified. We went to Morro Bay, on the tiny beach right next to Morro Rock. No waves, the sky was blue and perfect and it was just a wonderful day. We met at 1pm because of weird tide times. We went in the water for the first dive at 2:20pm and did some exercises on the bottom by the buoy. Since the water was so calm in the bay I had no problem swimming out and everything was fine. I could go down the rope directly. During the first dive we did three exercises. First we had to remove our mask completely, put it on, and get the water out. That was ridiculously scary. In the pool, fine, we even swam with the mask off for a while. But the saltwater is not very fun to get in the eyes. We didn’t have to take it too far off our faces, only like an inch. So I did that and didn’t freak out. Then we practiced neutral buoyancy but with oral inflation of the BCD under water. Piece of cake. The third thing we did was the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA). That’s when your buddy is nowhere near you, you run out of air, and have to ascend. So you breathe out an “aaaaaahhh” sound in the regulator all the way while ascending and then orally inflate the BCD on the surface. Then we had to wait for a while before the minidive. We swam on the bottom and looked at cool stuff. I didn’t see too much on the first dive, but the visibility was so much better than yesterday. Okay, it wasn’t great, but we could see tiny stuff on the bottom. But that was the second dive.

Between the dives we ate a little, switched tanks and went in again. I was colder today which is weird, maybe because I didn’t move as much in the still water or because I wasn’t panicking. I wasn’t very cold, but 56F on the bottom is not very much. It wasn’t too bad though. The second dive was just about swimming around looking at cool stuff. We brought the big camera and took a lot of photos. First proof of me being under water! The camera died on the pool so no pictures came out. So, during the second dive we saw so many cool things. On the surface we saw a small jellyfish. On the bottom we saw some small flatfish, cool anemones, nudibranchs (a type of sea slugs). They were all small, but when you saw them they were really cool and brightly colored!

After the dive we filled in our log books, took apart all our gear and drove to the shop to clean everything before we could finally go home and rest after this long weekend. When we got to the shop our instructors surprised us with pizza. It tasted amazing and was well-needed! I guess my pulled pork sandwich is breakfast tomorrow.

I took an hour nap back home, took a shower, and spent too long brushing my hair out. Even with a braid it got so tangled up!

After that I didn’t do much. I wanted to play GW2, but for some reason I found other stuff to do, nothing really. What did I do tonight?!

Anyway, we have the day off tomorrow so I might as well play then. Unless it is good weather, then I will probably chill by the pool for the first time in weeks. Bad California for giving me bad weather my last few weeks here!

549222_966357746731092_2342622644731501470_n Surface Interval with snacks. Matt, Melissa, and I.11251778_966357810064419_1847664718108659097_n Assembling our gear during SI.10422477_966357830064417_7553319148995011328_n Full gear, going to the beach.11227633_966357896731077_8547957776727718607_n 11265314_966358100064390_5960497699443711769_n Me under water.11033148_966358163397717_5941598028179548314_n My diving buddy, Melissa and I in the background trying to photobomb her.11377101_966358056731061_5388539894409880499_n Unintentional photobomb from me.20304_966358866730980_9027100763267396600_n I had the yellow tank during the second dive. It is hard to recognize people unless they have something very distinguishing about their gear since almost all wetsuits and hoods are black.1509965_966358503397683_2302007728259231891_n 11008550_966358790064321_8621675823290864032_n That might be a nudibranch, I don’t know honestly. It was one of the cool things we saw.11219374_966358336731033_5778634720298537761_n Me just chilling, swimming slowly along the bottom.11350572_966358310064369_7908652396377108347_n “I am okay”.11110498_966358933397640_3704618582010447990_n All of our group except for two girls.11219657_966358986730968_6396013168184166467_n Melissa and I. She was a great diving buddy and I am happy that she was so nice and helpful, especially yesterday when I was panicking.10501796_966359220064278_3103918549654657391_nHappy and just certified diving buddies! 😀

Open Water Dive #1+2 (Spooner’s Cove)

I survived both my first and second open water dive today. There were a few times when I almost thought that I wouldn’t. Diving in the ocean is a completely different thing than in a pool. My first few breaths under water in the pool were scary and hard, much harder than a normal breath above water, but still manageable once I got used to it. You would think that the breathing process is the same in the ocean with same gear. But it is completely different, like night and day. First of all, there are conditions in the ocean that don’t exist in the pool, like waves, currents, colder water, lower visibility.

I was excited at first, a bit tired, and a little scared, but I didn’t think it would be that much different from the pool. Stupid me. So once we got in the water with our diving buddies, I found it hard to breathe. The wetsuit was a very thick one, 7mm, and a two-piece. It didn’t fit much tighter than my surfsuit, but it was more material tightening around my chest, and with that heavy BCD (Buoyancy Control Device), and weights and tanks and all that, I got winded from just walking with it to the shore from the car. And then getting in the water, with mild surf, and putting on my mask/snorkel and fins, was pretty tough. My total extra weight was 24lbs and then the BCD+tank on top of that. I was carrying a lot. And with the tight wetsuit, a little heavy breathing felt way worse than it does at the gym. So imagine swimming on the water, against the waves, out towards the buoy. With the snorkel it was kinda fine, but I was honestly freaking out a little bit. And it just got worse when I tried putting the regulator in. That was so scary! It is a completely natural reaction to freak out when you feel like you can’t get enough air. And even if I knew that I got air, I didn’t feel like it was enough and I got really scared and almost wanted to end the dive and do this another time. During the first dive I wasn’t sure why I was freaking out. I thought it was because I was scared of being in the ocean and not in the confined pool water. I knew we were going deeper than the pool and I’m sure some of it was anxiety. So my buddy and I were the last to go down to the rope on the bottom. When I hear 15 feet, I automatically think in meters. 15 meters is a lot!! So I was a little scared going down the rope, but 15 feet: piece of cake and I was on the bottom in no time! Once I was on the bottom I was actually fine. The panic was gone, I could breathe, and second most importantly; I wasn’t cold in the 56 degree water.

We did some training on the bottom, it was just a couple of things before we went on a minidive on the bottom. On the first dive we did two things on the bottom, and that was filling our mask halfway and emptying it and then removing the regulator, throwing it away, finding it again, and putting it in. Diver’s rule #1 is to always let bubbles out of your mouth while under water and never ever hold your breath. So you have to be smart and only let out a very little amount of air. During that dive, but at the surface, we also practiced cramp removal, and tired diver tow.

The minidive was pretty much just a 10 minute swim on the bottom in an arrow formation with the instructor in the middle. Two instructors and five or four students going in two different directions. The visibility was really bad, 5-10feet according to the instructors. You had to stay really close to your buddy. We swam to some kelp, I didn’t look at anything, I tried to focus on my breathing and doing what I was supposed to do, like give my psi to the instructor whenever he asked for it and turned direction when he wanted to. I did however see some cool stuff. On the first dive I saw a dead squid the size of my hand. Super sad, but it was a squid. Some kelp was blue shimmering and was really pretty. And that was everything I saw during the first dive.

Swimming in was hard, the diving fins are so heavy and I find it very hard to swim with them. So swimming back in with the waves that got a little bigger while we were out there, definitely made me breathe heavily again. But not too bad, and getting out of the water wasn’t hard at all.

We put our stuff on some tarp so it wouldn’t get sandy. Walked up to the cars, had a little snack, changed our tanks and then went in again. I wasn’t as nervous and scared this time. But the waves were higher and it was very difficult to swim out to the buoy. And this time we were supposed to only do it with our compass. That wasn’t the hard part, but seriously, swimming on the surface with all that gear sucks!! It is so heavy and once again, my breathing got heavy and I found it hard to breathe in the regulator. But this time I knew it was from being winded so I just needed a minute by the buoy before descending.

During the second dive we did three exercises. First we filled our whole mask with water and emptied it. I couldn’t fill mine the whole way so I had to fill it up to like three quarters three times. My eyes hurt a little after that, stupid saltwater. But then I got it. The second thing we did was regulator exchange, so we signaled to our buddies that we were out of air and we got there secondary second stage to breathe in. Then we ascended, pretending that one of our BCD’s were empty and had to inflate it orally at the surface. Me and my buddy did really well on that one. We also had to show the instructors again at the bottom that we could remain neutrally buoyant in the water. That means just floating in the water. I did that very well too.

Then we did another minidive and this time I looked around more, swam through the kelp, almost got stuck one time, haha, saw a big starfish and once again, the shimmering kelp. That was a pretty cool dive too. And then came the horrible part. Getting out of the water. The waves were pretty big once we reached the surface, and swimming in that, while breathing in the regulator, well, I got the same feeling like before, that I didn’t get enough air. I was starting to panic again, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t wanna have the regulator in my mouth, but I’m pretty sure that’s what you are supposed to do, not the snorkel. It took forever to swim in, so I was exhausted when I got in there. And then I couldn’t get my fins off, I tried myself, and eventually I got help from one of the instructors. I was embarrassed honestly. I usually never panic like this, and I am almost all of the times, prepared when I am doing something new because I wanna do it right from the beginning. I couldn’t breathe, so as soon as I got up to the shore I got helped with the removal of my BCD, opened up my wetsuit, off with the hood, and I almost started crying. Not being able to breathe sucks! It is scary as hell! Once I could breathe normally again, I put on the BCD and walked up the beach to the cars. Ugh, that was horrible. But I survived, and the conditions today was not optimal for a dive, and for a first dive? I think overall I did pretty well. But I hope it will go better tomorrow. We are going to Morro Bay, so there shouldn’t be any waves, but there is gonna be a current (today there was none). So instead of being winded at the surface, where I can calm down before descending, I might be winded at the bottom. That would not be fun! Also I think that I most likely will get calf cramps too. But that’s not a big problem compared to the breathing part. I’m sure it will be fine!

My maximum depth today was 21 feet, and my total bottom time after today is 48 minutes. Cool!

After I got home I was so extremely tired and hungry.  I probably burned 3000 calories today, so I had a bowl of mac n cheese, watched the season finale of Grimm, and took a nap. When I woke up I was hungry again, and somehow I managed to get a friend to pick up a pulled pork sandwich for me from Firestone. The sweetest thing ever! I saved half the sandwich so I have some yumminess for tomorrow. The fries though went fast. I really needed some salt. The rest of the evening I played Guild Wars 2. The food gave me more energy and eventually, at 10pm, I took the warm shower I probably should have taken right away. Well well. We are not meeting until 1pm tomorrow, so I get to sleep in. And I am pretty sure that I will fall asleep as soon as I put my head on my pillow. Wish me luck tomorrow everyone! If I do well tomorrow I have my PADI Open Water Certification at the end of the day, yay!