I did my Open Water course with Pro Dive Cairns out on the Great Barrier Reef. It was a great expereince and I'm thrilled to have my PADI licence but it was also a lot more challenging than I had expected it to be. Firstly I seemed to be extra floaty so had to have 6 weights on my weight belt! Fine in water but when trying to get out I couldn't get up and sort of collapsed both at the side of the training pool and then when on the boat it was all just so heavy!!
If it had been straight forward diving looking at the marine life - the whole reason I wanted to learn scuba - it would have been fantastic. But obviously to get a licence there are lots of things you have to show you can do first including throwing your respirator (breathing equipment) over your shoulder and finding it again, kneeling on the bottom of the ocean and taking your mask off, then putting it back on again and clearing it as well as take your weight belt of in the water and then putting it back on again - it was all really quite scary, exhausting and very technical. Plus the biggest problem for me was I had a lot of trouble equalising my ears so a lot of the time I was in agony and I also suffered with nose bleeds.
But it has not put me off!! Now I have done all the practical side and got my licence I can start to perfect my diving and then really enjoy the whole reason I wanted to learn in the first place which is to be surrounded by amazing marine life. I am now qualified to dive down to 18 metres and the variety of marine life you can see down to that depth is amazing!