When we took the jobs teaching in the Caribbean, Tony immediately went to get scuba certified. He did his deep water check-out dives off Tortola and spent nearly 13 hours underwater over the last two years. As for me, I had no real interest in diving. I’ve never felt like a very strong swimmer, so snorkeling was plenty of work for me. As I became more comfortable in the water, I began to consider “taking the plunge,” but never got around to taking the course.
A few weeks ago we were hanging out in Cane Garden Bay with Steve and Vicki and a couple of their friends. We were in the water tossing the Waboba (WAter BOuncing BAll) and chatting with Kyrie, a dive instructor with Blue Water Divers. In about 15 minutes Kyrie had me convinced to do what Tony’d been trying to talk me into for months and months: the 1 day Discover Scuba Diving course.
Our course was set up for the day before we left island. (We went out in the morning and our flight wasn’t until the next afternoon, so we left plenty of time to fly safely.)
Tuesday morning we rolled up about 8:30am and picked out snorkel gear. By 9 we were out on the water and Kyrie was giving us DSDs (Discover Scuba Divers) the “lecture” part of the course. Basically, we learned to never hold our breath underwater and the hand signals that we would need to use to communicate. Kyrie made it very entertaining though with silly voices and accents, motions, and jokes. Then the certified divers went for their first dive, while we snorkeled above them. When they took their break, we got in the water to do our skills tests on a shallow rock ledge.
I’ll tell ya, scuba gear is heavy and unattractive, so I look super goofy in these pictures!
We had to demonstrate that we could complete four skills in order to be able to proceed:
1. Take our regulator (the breathing thingy) out and put it back in.
2. Toss our regulator over our shoulder, retrieve it, and put it back in.
3. Put water into our masks and blow out through our nose to clear it.
4. Signal that we were out of air, take our regulator out, and take the spare regulator from the instructor.
Once the skills were done, we were on our way!!
Tony and I were very blessed in that our waterproof camera (which we sent away for repair around Christmas) was just returned to us, so we were able to catch this dive on “film.”
This is Elisabet, another former Cedar teacher, and myself under water.
Our dive at Angel Fish Reef was pretty shallow, only about 35 feet or so, but we saw a lot of wildlife, including this Southern Sting Ray. I was so close to it!
This is Kyrie holding a conch (pronounced conk) shell. You can just see the muscle and its claw.
I’m holding this teeny-tiny little arrow crab. This is another one of those things that Tony couldn’t believe. He says that if he’d asked me to hold that spider-looking thing, I never would have done it, but since Kyrie asked… : )
After awhile we met up with Tony and his group of divers. He and I each took our regulators out and (quickly) kissed while 30 feet underwater! How cool is that?!
People were really curious what I would think of scuba diving. Some said they hoped I hated it, since I waited until the last day to try and might regret missing out on those two years of diving, while others hoped I loved it. Verdict: Loved it! However, I don’t think I would have loved it two years ago. Because I’m so much more comfortable in the water now than I was back then, I wasn’t afraid at all to be sinking below the surface. I didn’t have any trouble clearing my ears as the pressure changed either. And because I’d heard Tony talk for the last two years about how great the scuba instructors were, I knew that Kyrie, despite his jokes and silly faces, would take great care of me the entire time we were down there, so I was completely comfortable and able to just enjoy the fishies!