Hello, beautiful readers! Today has been another fantastic day! I am milking every moment of what is left of my winter break vacation. My son and I are getting SCUBA certified at the Aquanauts Scuba Academy. We completed the online course and did our pool dive in December. Today, was our beach dive. The morning was absolutely perfect for it!
The waves picked up a bit by the time we went in the water, but it didn't affect the dive at all. We practiced putting all our gear together and doing our safety checks. Then, we put on our wet suits, strapped on our gear, and walked into the ocean. Once a good distance in, we put on our fins, inflated our BCD (vest) and began swimming past the buoy. From there, we descended thirty feet and began exploring the coral reef at the bottom.
It was absolutely beautiful! We found a sandy spot and practiced the skills we needed to show mastery of in order to get certified. One of the skills is buoyancy neutral, which is learning how to inflate your BCD just enough so that you stay at one level.
Funny little side note... I am very buoyant! When we were practicing in the pool, one of the skills you have to practice is getting out of your BCD and then putting it back on. Your BCD is weighted down to make it easier for you to descend. Well, the minute I took off the BCD, my body decided it wanted to shoot to the surface. I had to hold on to the BCD for dear life because my tank (and air supply) was connected to it. I pulled myself down and flipped over to quickly reattach myself to it.
Today, we did not practice that skill (thank goodness!), but my dive master underestimated my buoyancy. They normally base how much weight they stack into your BCD by your weight, so he gave me 16 pounds of added weight. As we descended, I went down a little bit but then started going back up. My dive master had to grab my hand and pull me down. Luckily, another dive master had extra weight bags so they stuffed with me two more pounds, and that kept me from rising. Then, we were good to go!
We practiced ascending and then swam to our second destination and descended again. Through both dives, we saw so many colorful fish, a huge lobster, starfish, jellyfish, and a cute pufferfish. There was one fish that kept following us everywhere we went. It was adorable!
Once we finished, we cleaned off all the gear and celebrated completing our certification! My calf muscles are not very happy right now. I had gotten SCUBA certified back in 1998, so I already had a set of fins from back then that I had kept. I retook the course with my son because it's been two decades since I've gone diving. My fins are extra long, which was the style back then, and they still work, but apparently, my calves don't like them anymore. Now, I swim to the buoy and back almost every Sunday, sometimes two or three times, so it's not that I'm out of shape. My dive master explained that the fins make the calves work harder. So, I might be investing in a newer, sleeker pair.
From there, I drove home while my son passed out next to me. Scuba diving is extremely relaxing. For me, it's like a meditative state, but it's also a lot of exercise. You really feel it on the beach dives because you have to exit the water with all your gear on after diving. That walk back up the shore was not easy, but I made it.
Once home, my son washed off all the gear while I prepared lunch. We then ate because we worked up quite a large appetite. I worked a couple of hours at my part-time job and then started getting ready for a dinner date with some friends.
I am an extroverted introvert. I don't like being the center of attention and become exhausted in large groups (unless I'm dancing, which is a stress reliever for me), but I thoroughly enjoy being in small groups with great friends. Two of the people I had dinner with tonight were friends I had not seen since before the pandemic began. It was wonderful hugging them and catching up with what's been happening in their lives. We sat and talked and laughed for hours.
So, all in all, it was an amazing day. I have no doubt I will pass out into a very deep sleep tonight.
Have you ever going snorkeling or scuba diving? I'd love to hear about it. :-)