I am exhausted!
We went to bed last night really early since today we had to be awake at 6 20am to get dressed and ready for our 7am dive.
This would make it our first open-water dive in the big sea. There were quite a few people taking the boat out with us, all diving at some sort of level. I could see skilled divers, new divers out on discovery dives (which means there is no pre-lessons, just a brief on how all the equipment works) and others were brushing up on their skills after a year off from diving.
My skills tests all went really well. I performed several of the skills that we had learned the day before at the beach as part of the training that included hovering (buoyancy test) mask skills, buddy breathing skills, regulator retrieval (actually removing your air hose at 18 feet underwater and throwing it behind you, then showing the 2 different ways of how to retrieve it). Kind of scary but all went well for me.
Nicola on the other hand panicked. I watched from the bottom as he did the mask skill and when the water filled his mask he accidentally inhaled some sea water. Even though you can cough into the regulator, (thing in your mouth where you breathe from) the sea water is quite stinging in the throat. It happened to me on the first day at the beach, so I knew how he felt. But, the last thing you do is panic. He ripped off his mask and threw his regulator out of his mouth (as most panicked people do) and swam for the top.
It’s a bit dangerous to do that, since you have to ascend slowly to allow the nitrogen from the oxygen to escape your body. So the instructor tried to help him at about 3 meters but he wasn’t going to let it happen.
He ended up going back to the boat for the rest of the dive while the instructor (Angus) and I went for my 2nd dive. Poor guy, I felt so bad for him. I came back and he looked so defeated. But, it’s the cardinal rule in diving, keep calm and learn how to deal with the challenges.
He will do the 2nd dive tomorrow to catch up.
The world underwater is fascinating. Something I have never imagined that I would do, and now having seen it, I just want to see more!!
My ears give me a problem though. You have to equalize every meter while descending which means you have to squeeze your nose and blow slightly to allow air from your breathing to go into your ear canals where there is a little bubble of air on each side that needs to be filled to avoid the pressured feeling. My right ear is fine; my left is a bit slow. So the first 10 mins of the dive are spent equalizing instead of enjoying the view. No big deal though, once it’s done I can swim all I want and take a look at the scenery.
Today we saw lionfish, which are dangerous if you touch them, leopard sharks which are harmless, barracudas, tons of different colored fish, angel fish, sea cucumbers, 2 eels, a cuttlefish which looks a little like a squid, trumpet fish, schools of grouper.. what else.. a lot. Too much to list but I mentioned most of the cool things.
We couldn’t do much after the dive day was over, sooo tired from carrying the equipment and swimming.. just dinner and some walking around this very small island. I am looking forward to the dive lessons to be over since this place is a huge party and I am too tired to participate!
Tomorrow, another 6am morning and dive 3 and 4 to complete the training and then the final test on theory.
Sorry no pics. There is no chance to take pics while in training but when we do a recreational dive I will have a chance.