Hurray! I just completed my PADI advanced diver certificate - organised by the friendly Blue Reef Scuba Team. Great bunch of blokes.
Most of the stuff - like deep water diving - I am already familiar with. But others, like navigation, I needed brushing up on.
Even buoyancy control - I realized I needed more practise with it. I had a full wetsuit- meaning it covered my ankles and arms. Previously, I used "shorties" which only well down to the thighs and biceps. But I found that I occasionally scrapped my unexposed parts on sharp coral or rocks, which is extremely painful.
Anyways, with the full wetsuit- I found I couldn't descend after deflating the BCD. So I had to go back to basics- remember my breathing technique - breath in - exhale toally - count 3 - and down I went. Unfortunately, my diving buddy was inexperienced; she hadn't gone diving in over 5 years!! At the first dive, she started ascending- I reached for her arm to pull her down but in so doing- I forgot about my breathing control - breathed too much air and followed her straight up to the surface. This was at a depth of just 12 feet. Not good!!! It could have been positively deadly if we were at a deeper sea level.
So main thing- RELAX !!! Don't panic.
So anyhow, I'm good now for the Manado trip.