Sunday, March 06, 2016

Taking The Plunge

Today I took a "Try Scuba" class at DiVentures.  The class was a two hour introductory class that walked you through the equipment, basic procedures like putting all the equipment (tank, buoyancy vest, weights, regulator) together, and basic procedures like getting water out of your regulator and facemask.

After twenty or thirty minutes of explanation and demonstration we suited up and got in the pool.  We started out in the shallow end and practiced the basic procedures and got use to breathing through a regulator.  After we all passed our exercises (there were four of us in the group) we moved into the deeper end and basically had almost thirty minutes to swim around the pool.

I have to admit I was a bit worried (me worried ... who would have thought).  I was waiting to have some negative reaction like claustrophobia.  I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it or that I would be unacceptably uncomfortable.  A few minutes in the pool dispelled most of my worries.

Breathing through the regulator was strange but not uncomfortable.  If anything I may have been breathing a little too much - something that is expected for first time scuba divers.  I'd been a bit worried about pain in the ears, something I'd experienced at the bottom of pools, but a quick pinch of the nose and a gentle blow equalized the pressures and the pain was gone.

The swim around the pool was not the most exciting thing as you can expect but I did a few flips - both forward and backward - and played with the bubbles a bit while I passed the time and got used to the feeling of being underwater for so long.

After the class I went to the front desk and signed up for the Scuba certification classes.  I was a bit loopy as I filled out the paperwork.  I guess the swimming took more out of me than I expected it would.  The paperwork got filled out, with several scratched out errors (I couldn't seem to get my dates right), and I headed home where I discovered that I was totally exhausted.  I think I will sleep well tonight.

My classes start at the end of March.  Five classes over three weeks - four hours each.  Some of that time is classroom stuff, some is in the pool.  Mostly emergency procedures I believe.  After the classes I need to take four certification dives which I expect to get done in May before our South American trip.  Not looking forward to the certification dives which are in a lake near Atlantic, Iowa.  The water is going to be cold.  The four dives can be done in one weekend so I can get it over with fairly quick and painlessly.

I hope to have a chance to use what I learn in the Galapagos.  Not sure I will be able to scuba but snorkelling is offered by our tour and I will be all over that.  Who knows, future vacations may very well include a little scuba on the side.  Can't wait!

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