So I am officially a Scuba Diver!
This weekend I took an a compacted scuba diving course (the one you are supposed to complete in 4 days, I completed in 3!).
I got my study book that you have to read through and take quizzes in the mail last Wednesday and the more I read and learned the more I got terrified to dive. There are so many ways you can die while scuba diving! I even called up the diveshop and asked them what would happen if I just couldn’t complete the course…
So Friday morning rolls around and I hop on the train to a very sketchy area of Melbourne, Frankston. There I found the diveshop I will be doing my certification through, Diveline. The two men who run the shop are super nice and wonderful and I happened to be the only person doing my certification that day! So I got personalized training for my first day which was wonderful!
We finished up theory and I took my test at the shop and then practiced putting together the gear before Paul, my instructor, informed me it was time to head to the pool and go under! I’m pretty sure my heart started pounding triple it’s usual speed…
At the pool we practiced snorkeling, getting in and out of the water and preparing our gear. After I swung the 50lbs of gear on my back we entered the water and Paul told me to go under and breathe! I panicked and did as I was told. It was such an odd but cool experience to breathe underwater! We spent 3 hours in the water learning different things, swimming around (under the people swimming above us which was really odd and finding all the gross things floating in the bottom water of a pool, something I never recommend…), and just breathing underwater!
Day 1, complete!
Saturday morning I returned to Frankston again where I found a few more people, a nice kid named Ben, another divemaster Sandy, and a woman Sharon. We all loaded up our gear, got into our wetsuits and headed out to the 47 degree (Fahrenheit) water for our first open water dive! It was freezing, sandy, and scary going under off the Frankston Pier. As soon as we jumped into the water the cold hit us! We spent 2 hours in the water on our first dive learning skills, getting comfortable, and diving down to 5 meters. After another 1 hour session in the water diving to 6 meters once we changed our air tanks we finally could warm up! Boots and warm socks never felt so good!
Day 2, complete!
Sunday morning the same group, except minus Sandy a woman named Caroline and I made our way out to Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula for our boat dives! Today I wasn’t nearly as scared even though I knew we were diving much deeper. I was finally enjoying scuba diving! Ben and I were buddied up and in the water we went! Less than 10 minutes later, after the initial shivering and descent, I looked down at my computer and saw we had made it down our 18 meters! 18 meters! It was crazy! We floated and swam around pointing out cool corals and fish to each other before being told we needed to begin our ascent by our instructor Paul. Suddenly we lost all the others from our group and it was just Ben and I. For a moment we both looked around trying to find each other before going back to our training and just deciding to go up and do our safety stop on our own. We made it up, did our safety stop and surfaced where we reunited with the rest of our group who apparently had had problems.
Changing out our tanks on shore and grabbing some lunch, we were ready for round two and out we went on the boat again! This time we did a 12 meter dive and explored a marine life sanctuary and the cool fish who lived there.
On the way back the boat suddenly slowed and the captain shouted snorkels on, everyone in the water! Looking around we saw a bunch of seals sunbaking on a structure in the middle of the ocean! We jumped in! And the curious seals did the same! We swam and snorkeled with the seals for 20 minutes and I found that the more you play and act like a seal the more they play with you! If you dive down they dive down and swim along with you! It was so cool and I think I made some new friends!
After the hour drive back to the dive shop, we filled out paperwork, put away our gear and Paul declared us all, OFFICIAL SCUBA DIVERS!