The whole trip to Sharm el Sheikh grew out of a desire to get a diving certificate. First I had planned to go to Thailand for that, but after a recommendation to go to Sharm and sign up with Colona Divers[a], I changed my plans. It turned out really nice.
With Colona you arrive on time, dive on time, with the right equipment at the right spot. After going with them for a week I won't bother with any other diving center. (But I would bring Euro bills[b] next time.)
Rhianedd Jones, my diving instructor. Quick pronunciation guide: The first name is pronounced Rhianeth (called Rhi which is pronunced "Ree"), which is an old Welsh word meaning maiden or princess.
Diver entering the water by menas of the "Giant Stride" (basically, hold on to your mask and regulator and take a big step into the water).
Wetsuits and equipment at the lower deck.
Buoyancy Control Device (BCD, the vest-like thing) with air tank and regulator + pressure gauge. The BCD is an inflatable vest. Together with the weight belt, the wetsuit and your natural buoyancy, you use it to control your ascending and descending. Mostly, though, you use your lungs as a control device and use the BCD for neutral trim.
The first-stage of the regulator attached to the tank valve. This part takes 200 bar tank air and turns it into 7-10bar medium-pressure air. The medium pressure air is then delivered at ambient pressure through the mouthpiece by the second stage demand valve.
Another type of valve called a DIN-valve. It can use higher pressures than the K-valve used in the previous picture.