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ELYSE ([personal profile] caurque) wrote2013-12-07 06:31 pm

talking to the moon

Yay here's the Phuket travel diary (I'm so efficient right?!?!???) and I apologise in advance because it gets pretty wordy when describing the whole diving ordeal HAHAH but yeah. 

Terminal 1 looks almost exactly like Terminal 3! Except there are a lot less food choices and a distinct lack of the Times bookstore. :'( The flight was 2 hours long, but I slept the whole way so it felt more like 30 minutes! After a one hour cab ride, we arrived at Le Meridien. 

They gave us really nice flower bracelets!

Since it was drizzling and there was only half an hour left till 5, we paid a visit to the golf range! My brother was a complete loser, but my dad still remembers how to golf. I tried my hand at it and failed supremely.

We ran back for shelter then and decided to eat dinner at this super posh Western restaurant in the resort! The resort has a super wide array of restaurants to choose from omg. I can't wait to drink the Tom Yam Goong. *^* We ordered the Pad Thai and the Beef Fried Rice and the Pad Thai was the best ever yumz. My brother then proceeded to make a POV video of me eating my Pad Thai and I am such a barbarian when I eat omg?!??

I went to the toilet and something creepy happened. When I put my hands beneath my auto tap, the tap NEXT to me turned on by itself too! ö

We took a relaxing stroll to the beach. The waves are huge omg. 8D

We had drinks in the drinks bar next to the beach (I drank apple juice and my brother drank a mocktail that tasted horrible HAHA sucks to be him). Then they started playing with the lamp (which was lit by a candle inside) by placing napkins and paper over the lamp and making them catch fire aiyo.

Said lamp. 

Our lift had a really pretty ceiling that was made of scented wood and smelled really nice HAHA.

Then we went back to the room to lepak YAY. \O/

My family was horrible and went down to breakfast without me (I was in my kingdom), so I had to go look for them myself AND I COULDNT FIND THEM. DDD: I had to walk around all the restaurants for 5 minutes before I finally spotted them! Boo. Breakfast was unremarkable, and then we went down to the PADI Dive Centre to meet our instructor and take the final exam!

The final exam was a lot more informal than I'd expected HAHA and it was only 20 questions long phew. \O/ Our instructor (his name is Arndt, pronounced like 'aunt') is really jovial and funny, which I'm thankful for because it made the diving a lot less scary (although it was still terrifying) than it could've been!

Afterwards he showed us how to assemble our equipment, which consists of our Buoyancy Control Devices (called BCD which is basically this big life jacket that can be inflated and deflated at any time to control our buoyancy in the water), Submersible Pressure Gauge (called SPG which shows us the magnitude of pressure left in our gas tanks, which is normally 200 bar), Primary and Secondary Regulators (the mouthpieces of our life support, basically), our Alternate Regulator (to be used by our buddy in the event of air shortage and you're too deep to swim to the surface and survive), our Weights Belt (a belt full of weights so you don't float to the surface in the ocean (because ascending too fast can cause certain DEATH), our masks flippers snorkels etc omg there's so much shit we have to lug around it was like 10kg. DDD: I felt like an old grandma from hunching over so badly!

So we had our first two dives in the pool for safety's sake, wherein he taught us how to wash our masks, lose our masks and retrieve it blindly, run out of air and take air from your buddy's alternate reg, sink and float using our lungs etc. And the hardest part for me to grasp is when to deflate and inflate my BCD when diving! It makes more sense to inflate your BCD when you want to ascend right, but nooo we have to deflate it?!?? It makes sense if you apply Physics concepts but how do you expect me to think rationally like this when I'm 10m deep omg. :'(

See if you can figure out who I am HAHA.

We had a one hour lunch after! I finally had my first Tom Yam Goong of the trip but it was too milky, plus I was too nervous about getting stomach upset in the ocean to really enjoy it. :( Then we went out to the ocean to do Dives 3 and 4. We swam out from the shoreline till the sea floor was about 10m deep (we went about 9m deep) but visibility was really poor so we could barely see anything in the murky waters! At the 30 minute mark we surfaced for about 10 minutes to learn how to release a cramp as well as tow your buddy to safety in the event where they're too exhausted to swim back to the boat.

I was really stressed out the entire 30 minutes though! I couldn't figure out how to breathe normally - sometimes I breathed too fast and sometimes I breathed too much and did I mention one of my phobias is drowning in the ocean?!?? I kept thinking about all those scenes in Sanctum wherein someone died because of an accident with their diving equipment and those just made me more worried omg. D:

So here's me looking miserable on a cloudy day.

But then I decided I should at least look like I'm having fun HAHAH

Anyway after surfacing for about 10 minutes we took a slightly different route back to the shore and that was it for the day! Thank god. My brother and I went to catch some big waves in the ocean after that. \O/ By catching waves I mean treading water and sailing over the waves when the big ones come omg so fun. 8D I got seawater up my nose though which was horrid.

After we bathed and I got sand out of all the places I really didn't want sand in, we headed down for a nice leisurely dinner! We ate Italian though so no Tom Yam. :| But the lasagna was super good!!!

Then we went for our Thai Massage! I asked for a Sports Massage because I was still aching from training on Monday but my masseuse was suffering from a stomach upset I think, because she seemed rather cross and actually excused herself halfway through the session to go to the toilet! Plus I could hear her stomach make weird noises HAHAHA. Anyway she didn't understand when I told her to concentrate on my arms and back so in the end I had a rather unsatisfactory massage. :(

And then I went back to the hotel room to lepakkk. :B HAHA and there are no photos because everything is in the Go-Pro camera and I'm lazy to transfer the photos/videos to the computer. You can go to my instagram to check out the mini diving video I posted~

We awoke at freaking 6:15AM to get ready and eat breakfast. The diving mini van picked us up at the lobby at 7:45 and we headed down to the quay to get on the boat that would bring us to our dive site!

It was a 1.5h boat ride, and about half an hour in I started getting kinda seasick because the waves were really choppy and the boat was moving up and down so violently I would literally get flung across the deck from one side to another. D: So I sat down on a deck chair, drew a towel over me to block the wind, and had the best nap ever omg. \O/ Closing my eyes always makes motion sickness so much better! The rocking of the boat totally lulled me to sleep.

Oh oh but before I went to sleep I found out that Arndt used to climb too!! He stopped about 5 years ago to focus on diving. :'( He's one of those pro backpack climbers and he leads multi-pitch omg so cool.

Unfortunately I was woken up by Arndt who announced that it was time! I was super uneasy because we would be diving twice as deep as yesterday, which means 18m max depth underwater. But once I got into the water I calmed a little, and when we actually descended I got wowed over by the corals and fishes! Of course there were still stressful periods wherein Arndt would ask us to practice the same stuff we did in the pool, except 5m deep, and there was once I lost control of my BCD and start floating up uncontrollably. D: I kept exhaling till my lungs had no air anymore but I was still ascending!!! So annoying omg.

Yep we spent about 40 minutes underwater swimming around. The visibility was pretty okay! We played with a dead jellyfish and saw a sea cucumber as well as a whole lot of batfish that we're swarming us omg.

I think our coiffs here are hilarious.

And we also saw a puffer fish!

We were supposed to board the boat by breathing through the regulators and keeping one hand on the ladder, take out our flippers one by one and hand them to the boat boys on board. Unfortunately the current was really really strong and I almost lost grip, and in my shock I opened my mouth and my regulator was ripped out and the waves kept splashing onto my face so I couldn't breathe!!! D: So while I flailed around trying to find the regulator, Arndt very nicely helped me take off my flippers, phew. I wonder what would've happened if I'd accidentally dropped my flippers back into the ocean. ö

We had the rockiest and windiest lunch ever. The wind was so strong that when I picked the spoon up with the food in it I had to stuff it really quickly in my mouth or the wind would blow the food away HAHAHA. I felt all cross and wet and yucky, so I decided to take another nap! My towel was wet though so I woke up shivering even more badly. :(

And I was quite cross at having to assemble all the gear while the boat was moving up and down like nobody's business and the wind was blowing us to the bone and our wet suits were STILL WET AND ICE COLD OMG but I suffered through it all in the end! Things got a lot more better in the water again (I think it's the mental preparation before diving that's more taxing than the actual act) and the entire dive went really smoothly! :D

I enjoyed this dive very much because I'd finally found a way to breathe in a manner that didn't make me feel like I was starved for oxygen. Basically I breathed in really deep and exhaled reaaally slowly. I also finally perfected the art of swimming with the flippers! All I had to do was imagine that I was a fish and let my legs flow out behind me like a tail (kind of like a mermaid :D). We encountered barracuda, starfish, scorpion fish, a really small octopus/squid I'm not quite sure actually, and loads of fish as usual! We also swam through these boxy metal structures that were part of some kind of project that failed or something.

Me at my most cheerful HAHA and you also get to see my royal forehead

Trigger fish!

How did my father even get so close...

We were SWARMED.

I think this is really nice! But that isn't me.

We spent about 45 minutes in the water! As we ascended we suddenly caught sight of a live jellyfish and stupid Julian wanted to descend again to take a nicer shot with the go-pro camera aiyo.

A funny thing happened when we got on board. I brought a deck chair into the shade so that I could enjoy another nap but the boat was rocking so much from side to side that when I sat down on the chair I tipped over backwards and I landed on my back! The momentum plus the boat's angle sent me rolling, heels over head, out of the chair HAHA so basically I did a backwards somersault out of the chair onto the floor and I ALMOST FELL OFF THE BOAT OK I was right at the edge omg. And everyone on deck laughed at me HAHAHA but I was laughing quite hard at myself too.

I didn't think to bring a proper change of clothes though so I was all wet and cold and miserable. Taking a bath had never felt so good. \O/

After bathing and lepaking for two hours, we headed down for the King's Birthday Buffet Dinner! Since today was the Thailand king's birthday, we were supposed to wear comparatively more formal attire, but we didn't know HAHA oooops. Dinner was Thai-cuisine and omg the Tom Yam Goong was soooo perfect just thinking about it now is making my mouth water!

There were fireworks too!

My brother and I then went down to the beach to play.

This is supposed to look like my shadow is carrying the shadow of that... thing. Which in hindsight I realise I have no idea what it is.

We decided to take classy model silhouettes against this rock. 

But it became steadily unclassy.

I think I'm officially an international rebel. \O/

And that's about it for the day!

The last and by far the best day of the trip! We woke up around 8:45 and after breakfast went down to the archery range. I tried my hand at shooting but most of my arrows landed on the grass LOLOL.

I'm pretty sure my elbow isn't supposed to look like that.

Oh and the sun had finally come out!

We proceeded to the golf course where my dad tried to teach me to golf again! I used to golf as a kid (sorta) but I've totally forgotten everything HAHA. Apparently my balls make nice sounds but they never go where I want them to. >:(

Next we changed into our slightly damp and cold swimsuits to play in the sea~! But then my dad impromptu rented two jet skis for us and omg it was the best thing ever. 8D They allowed us to drive the jet skis without any prior practice or certification though, which I felt was really too lax on their part. D: I spent the first five minutes of the ride screaming and squawking like a chicken HAHA and we also saw a parasailer!!! I'm sad I didn't get to parasail in Phuket but oh well, jet skiing is fun enough!

Then we went to catch some waaaaaves (although it felt more like the waves were catching us HAHA). It took me a while to perfect the art of riding the waves with my body without getting dunked under and swept up to the shore. Some of the waves were huuuuge too, like twice my height! And frankly it was freaking intimidating to be caught in the crash.

We went up for a quick shower and lunch and then it was CLIMBING TIEMZ YAY. The wall was pretty limited - there were two routes, a 5C and a 6A (or it could be 6A+ but the route was kinda short so...)!

The 5C is the left multi-coloured route and the 6A is the right brown route! 

So I did endurance on the 5C by climbing it three times straight, then I tried the 6A+ route and fell on the first try. D: It was pretty hard and required quite a bit of balance. Tricky footwork too! I had to use a lot of features on the wall too so it was quite slow-moving bc I had to feel around for it first. And the scariest part was that the anchor for my rope was for the 5C route, which was beside the 6A route, so if I fell off the wall I would swing to the left and scrape myself. :'( Thankfully the wall wasn't inclined, so I could rest easily on my feet without resting on the rope phew. And while I was resting I spotted a couple on the beach watching me climb so I waved at them and they waved back HAHAHA and then since I had an audience I had to look impressive right, so I continued climbinggg.

At the top of the 6A route I had to climb sideways till I was on the 5C route, and that was the most challenging part I think because there were no footholds or handholds whatsoever! Thankfully there was a really nice long vertical feature that was like a sideways jug, so I matched hands on that and smeared on a slightly sloped part of the wall and then verryyyy gingerly moved sideways. I'm actually really surprised my feet didn't just slip out from beneath me. ö

Me climbing sideways and doing a split in the process.

This part required a lot of balance and control and my feet were totally going to slip off omgggg.

Yup after my belayer took a break I climbed the 6A route again, rested, and climbed the 5C route three more times! I feel like I could've climbed more but my belayer looked super exhausted (he had to belay my brother too), plus he seemed really lax about belaying. D: He was always talking to his colleague while I climbed and he never paid attention to the rope, which was super dangerous imo. And also he was using the belaying device usually used for speed climbing so when he lowered me all he had to do was pull the lever to let loose the rope but he always pulled the lever too far and I would freaking free-fall down omg. D:<

After that I went to stand in the ocean to let the seawater soothe my grazed legs (it was such a bad idea climbing in shorts) and stare passionately off into the horizon HAHAHA um yeah then I went back up to bathe yet again and we had dinner after! We finally walked around the gift shops in the resort and I bought a couple of souvenirs as well as a new pair of slippers. And that was the end of the fun-filled day! :D

I'm happy to say that the trip ended with a blast, and in retrospect, diving doesn't seem that scary!

And now I need to unpack and repack for the CCA trip which is in three days' time woohoo. \O/

Oh and I forgot to blog about the Heaven meet-up on 30th November!!! Idk how I forgot about that. D: I'm so sorry. Anyway we met at Orchard MRT at 1 (I think) but I was late (as always) HAHA then we went to Astons for lunch! 

Only me, Kellie, Rachel and Steph could make it that day (Hannah woke late pfttt) but it was still great catching up with them! :D Things got a bit awkward when the 4S3 clique (I think...?) came over to greet Kellie because they were coincidentally at the same place as us at the same time... But yeah. 

There are no photos though which sucks because this means I have absolutely nothing to boost my memory. D: We walked around and drank milk tea at Artease in Cineleisure (yeah we walked all the way from Ion to Cine omg) and then went to window shop! Aaaand I really cannot remember anything BOOOO I suck. 

Oh yeah we went to Scape Underground to buy some... hairbands! And we very shamelessly took a nice group photo outside even though it was drizzling hehe. But then it started pouring almost immediately after Steph, Kellie and Rachel went back in. >:( I can't remember why I had to leave early though...

Yep so overall I love you guys a lot a lot ok. <3 I just have really lousy memory!
960225: (Default)

[personal profile] 960225 2013-12-11 04:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I will post a longer comment when I have the time but

You left early because of church HAHA

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[personal profile] 960225 2013-12-23 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
I always get confused between travelouges and prolouges and whatnot...

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[personal profile] 960225 2013-12-26 11:44 am (UTC)(link)