I looked up and saw the stream of bubbles coming out of my regulator. I couldn’t believe I was down there. I couldn’t believe I was 38 ft. underwater. A wave of nervousness came over me, but I suddenly realized that everything as incredible as this holds a piece of peril. It was now up to me to either face my silent fear or bask in this beauty. I’m glad I chose the latter because I gazed and marveled at this new world.
(pix: I can set up my gear!)
Thanks to the other Brad, My Brad and I were fortunate to have met a marvelous PADI dive instructor, Mike. He and dive masters, Harry Blalock and Brad Derksen (aka: the other Brad) led us to scenic Lau Lau where we did our first two open water dives. During our first decent, I had trouble equalizing, causing a squeeze in my ears. It took me a good three minutes before I got to 20 ft. where they were patiently waiting. Truthfully, one of the three frequent divers made sure that I was taking my time to get use to the pressure and led me to slightly ascend if I had too. It made such a difference. As we swam towards the coral, it made me think of all the walk-through aquariums I’ve visited and submarine rides I’ve taken my classes to. I knew then diving was exponentially beyond compare. When we reached the reef, we saw a Hawksbill Turtle feeding from the corals. How lucky was I?! My first dive and a turtle was in plain sight! The reef was nothing like I imagined. An array of creatures brilliantly illuminated the water. From a school of diverse fish and a scorpion stonefish creeping in the sand to the marvelous tube worm and Christmas tree coral, everything was incredible. We swam for 38 minutes before we did our initial ascend.
During our second dive, we demonstrated skills that we learned the day before. We had to be able to take off our weights in the surface in case of an emergency, perform a snorkel/ regulator exchange, tow a tired diver, and remove cramps. Then we submerged back into the beautiful blue, this time equalizing wasn't a setback. We executed how to get rid of a flooded mask, what to do when someone or you signal that you're out of air, manually inflate our BCD (buoyancy control device), and breath bubbles when sharing air with another diver. Then we went back to exploring the reef. This time we saw a Green Sea Turtle, again, amazing!
Diving will undeniably be part of our adventure. Well, that is if we start reading our books and pass the certification test.