It’s been a few days since I posted, and I’m frankly very glad that I didn’t write a blog post after my dives on Sunday. They were crap. I was told something different about the weights, and even though my gut told me one thing, I didn’t listen. So, I was underweighted, and was supposed to work on Peak Performance Buoyancy. It didn’t work so well. I was completely distracted the entire time, due to both being underweighted and having super buoyant fins. Combining my buoyant fins with my 7mm booties was super lame. I wasn’t able to do a fin pivot, I wasn’t able to cross my legs and hover in the water. I barely was able to get through the hoops that are part of the obstacle course. On the last part of the dive, which we did as a fun dive, the weight belt would not stay lower on my hips, and I was swimming along with my head down and not even able to look ahead. It wasn’t good, all around.
So, I came away from Sunday really doubting myself and really being annoyed with the whole thing. Wondering why I was doing this, etc, etc. And then the instructor I was with was all bratty about some stuff, but at least she did speak with me about it, and I felt better. She wanted to give me some helpful hints for the Divemaster program and overall, they were helpful. I just don’t need someone to tell me that It’s not super easy – um, I know this. If it was super easy, everyone would be a DM and would be a dive guide. But, it’s NOT, so no, not everyone is doing it.
I decided to go home, do some navigation prep and then to call it a night early – and NOT to second guess my decision.
Monday was much better – and not just because it was my mom’s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Mom!!). I did some navigation training with one of the managers at the shop, along with a German guy who was doing some specialty dives. (Sidebar: evidence of UK vs US English can be seen in Speciality vs Specialty and Snorkeling vs Snorkelling.) Luckily the instructor (and the student) were able to let me come along and learn while they did. Because, after all, underwater it’s the same language!
For Monday, I added more weights (and clarified the info on the weights I had on – in the shop there are 1kilo weights, on the longtails they’re .8kilos) and used some of the shop’s fins. Completely different diving.
Underwater navigation is a good thing to know, but sometimes visibility screws with your ability to correctly discern where things are. We tested fin kicks and how long it took to get from point A to point B and then used a compass to find locations. I think I’m rather dyslexic with the add or subtract degrees to make myself go right or left. So, there’s that problem. But, I got all the way around to almost where we started. It’s kind of funny when you’re underwater and using a compass to find your way around, you kick much more seriously than when you are just going on a dive for pleasure. So, that tends to make you have a single focus. I did that so much so that I almost lost the instructor and the other student. Oops. And with the visibility decreasing at the minimal depth we were at, this didn’t help. I stayed in one place for a while, and it was fine. After this, we went on a fun dive and saw a fun sole – it was almost invisible, but when it swam away, it was like a ribbon over the sand. When we ascended, I came up a few seconds too fast – I don’t know why I do this. It’s something I have to correct. Obviously.
On the second dive, we descended to try to find “the dive site” we marked with visual clues we made as we ascended. We came close, but not close enough to find it. We started with creating a hexagon underwater with markers – first Damian had to do it, and then I had to do it again. I didn’t find the same markers. D’OH! When we were done with that exercise, we got to do a fun dive. We found a kindergarten rock which was super – filled with baby fishies! We saw baby Moorish Idols, a baby pufferfish, and some other baby fishes. They were so tiny and adorable (yes, I’m a dork. But remember – I have fish tattooed on my back.) that I almost didn’t want to leave them.
This time I didn’t have any issues with my head down or anything, so I was pleased. Having proper neutral buoyancy is key. My weight belt stayed in one place – also good. We saw a tiny nudibranch – smaller than my fingernail! After the fun dive, we went back and found our “dive site” (aka the piece of rope in the ground) and then the instructor went to go see if we could find the markers from the hexagon. We found 3 of the 5. Maybe I’ll have to go map / find the others when I do my real Navigation test.
Overall, I feel very happy with the results of the dives on Monday. I did well, and the buoyancy issue was resolved. In addition, I met a girl named Kelli who may know my cousin from Antarctica. And, she lived a few blocks from my house in Hermosa. The world is small, yes it is.
Now it’s time to finish quite a few knowledge reviews. YAY for Studying!
And I have updated my pictures. Including a pic of the twin I met last weekend, whose twin in Orange County I’ve met before. Small world comes to mind…