YIS Okinawa Expedition
The experience that I had during the 10th-grade expedition trip was doing an open water dive in Okinawa. I have never dived before, but I am good at swimming so that is why I chose this expedition. Before the trip, I used my research skills (information literacy) to study the open water diving book and take quizzes and the final test. I also self-motivated myself to prepare for the big test and quizzes by thinking that I could dive with my friends and get my PADI certificate.
Before the trip, we went to a pool to practice the open water dive and learned how to use the materials. I used my effective skills to focus and concentrate on what I am doing because you will never know what will happen underwater.
On the day we went to Ishigaki island, I managed my time by setting the alarm clock and woke up early to go to YCAT so that I would not miss the bus. Then we went on the plane and landed on Okinawa. When we reached the hotel, we started to study for the quiz that is coming up.
Starting from the second day of the trip, we tried on the wetsuits and other pieces of equipment. Then we went on the boat to go to an empty diving spot. In the first dive, we had to be able to equalize and get to the bottom of the ocean, then take the regulator off and on again. We did practice before the trip, but it was deeper than the place we practiced, so I calmed myself and did the tasks. On the second dive, we had to get water inside our goggles and take the water out. I was able to do this tasks smoothly, and I had no problems except for seasick and shivering from the coldness. At the end of the second day, we took a quiz.
During dives, we have to be in a pair to go underwater. Underwater, we cannot talk but I used communication skills by doing the hand signs that I have learned in the PADI book.
On the 3rd day of our trip, I reflected on my 1st and 2nd dive and took a pill for seasick, and went on the boat. The third dive was to use a compass to know where to go while swimming underwater. Then we had to take our mask off our heads and put it back on. The mask was full of water so we had to take the water out by breathing out hard with our nose. I was able to do this task smoothly as well. On the fourth dive, which is the last dive, we had to get with our buddy and do a short diving trip without our instructor. I was able to do this tasks but I was still shivering because the water was very cold. A the end of the 3rd day, we took a test, and I only missed a couple of questions. I, later on, reflected on what I missed and how I should do better if I go underwater again.
On the 4th day, we went to Taketomi island to look at the Okinawa houses. I was walking around with 2 of my friends and we had 3000 yen in total, so we tried to get small dishes that cost less money so that we could eat at multiple places. I used my critical thinking skills to do this. Then after the mini-trip, we bought souvenirs and packed our belongings. The next day, we went back to Yokohama.
Throughout the expedition, I learned that there may be risks that occur in nature, but if you get ready and organized it is going to be less dangerous. After every dive, I should reflect to do better on the next dive and it is very important to use my communication skills when diving without the instructor. I also learned about the beauty of nature, and how we should try to maintain it by recycling and not using plastics. In total, it was a very exciting and adventurous trip. A few months after the expedition, I got my PADI open water dive certification.