This is something that I wrote when I first started diving. I must have done 100 now in a year and a half. It is so interesting to read it now looking back- I found it hard to put equipment together? Now I can do it with my eyes shut. I cannot wait to dive in Mexico. I am arriving at the end of Shark season but hopefully there will be still some around! I still get a bit nervous before every dive.. once I am in it feels familiar again and the fear is forgotten.
I was in South East Asia two years ago now and one of my biggest regrets was not taking a scuba diving course.
That’s ok, I’m about to take one on the Cayman Isalands instead!
The PADI Open Water course is the most recognised certification and it consists of 3 parts; Knowledge Development, Confined Water Dives and Open Water dives.
To speed up the process, I am taking the online Knowledge Development course first so that when I arrive in Cayman, I will hopefully be equipped with the theoretical knowledge and will be able to get straight in the Confined Water dive section of the course.
PADI estimates that the course takes 12-15 hours and I would say that is pretty accurate. The course consists of a training manual which is divided into 5 sections and to be completely honest, I underestimated the amount of work involved. There was a lot of detail and most of the technical parts, I had never even considered, such as Water pressure, buoyancy and the equipment involved, which is a lot by the way.
Of course, when I arrived in the Cayman Islands, once of my hosts was a dive instructor.
Although I kept putting it off for the initial first few months with settling in and partying distracting me, eventually the day came to to the confined and operated dives.
We started off the morning with a cup of tea and briefing then it was off to the pool out back for my confined water dives.
I learned to set up the equipment, which is actually tricky enough but once you get the knack you could probably do it with your eyes shut.
Then it was time to breath under water! Surprisingly, it just felt normally. No different to breathing through your mouth at the surface. I guess the only thing for me was that I breath through my nose which isn’t really an option when scuba diving! So I had to do a few lengths in the pool, get used to swimming with fins, learn to clear my mask and what to do if your Regulator (what you breathe from) falls out.
Then it was off to the sea. I did my first dive at Smith Cove which is close to where I live. I was nervous but steady. After all, I wanted to do this for years. Really a case of mind over matter here. When you have dreamt about doing something for so long, you feel like you’ve done it a million times before. That’s what I kept telling myself anyway. You’ve done this before, but in a dream.
So down we went. Although I had some problems with my ears, I enjoyed it so much. I kept wondering if the fish even had enough brains to wonder what on earth (or under sea) were these two humans with tanks doing here?
It’s funny that the more you relax, the more your breathing evens out and the more you can just sink to the bottom.
My second set of dives I completed a bit further down the road near where the gas is piped into Grand Cayman the following weekend. Once again, I felt like I had done it a million times before.
It didn’t take me long to sign up for the PADI advanced course and once that is complete I guess I’ll do some fun dives. Lucky to live in once of the top places to dive in the world and you’d be crazy not to take full advantage.