How does it feel to start scuba diving?
It is a beautiful, warm (29 C) and sunny day in January, the place; The Island of Raya Yai, Phuket, Thailand. The climax in paradise is about to happen in seconds. You see first bubbles and then three divers – two new students and one instructor – pop up onto the surface. ”Great. Now you are divers! Welcome to the society of all the hobbies!”
Scandinavian students Anne Hautajoki and Jani Vepsäläinen have just finished the PADI Open Water Course. It has been their long-time-dream.
“Now the Mystical Underworld is finally ours. Under the surface it is so beautiful and peaceful, corals, fish and just being there where the 2/3 of The Planet Earth actually is - and now we can have a new, great hobby and go there to rest of lives, Anne and Jani tell.
Jani waited this moment for 16 years: ”I had a change to do an intro-dive 16 year ago in Caribbean but I had to leave home the next day. Starting scuba-diving has been in my head ever since. Anne got her kick from underwater movies and documentaries.
Open Water Course was done in three days and cost only 380 euros. They give 10/10 points to their diving center. “Private, high-quality training, safe and fun. We were so well taught that there was not a single uncertain moment. Raya Divers instructors really know how to teach diving,” Anne gives credit.
Their Instructor Lasse Erjamo says, that among the safety skills, the most important thing is to teach how to balance yourself. Lasse tells Anne and Jani to take the PADI Advanced Open Water Course soon. Also joining a local diving club in Finland is very good idea: “Then you can practise in your local pool the diving skills during the winter. The more you dive, the more you enjoy and learn.”
PADI Open Water Course gives a permit to dive down to 18 meters together with another certified diver. The 2-day Advanced Open Water Course is an introduction to different specialty diving skills and it raises the maximum depth limit to 30 meters. It is said that divers see 90 % of the Underworld between depths of 0-30 meters.
As divers say: “You have not seen the World, if you haven't been under the surface and dived there.
TEXT: PETRI AHONIEMI, PHOTO: ARJA HOLOPAINEN