|photo from last summer|
pool for a couple days, and then in a lake for a couple days. It’s really heavy
gear, and breathing underwater is trippy. And you know what else is hard?
Balancing. There are so many things to pay attention to! Luckily I had Daniel
with me. He has been scuba diving before, and certified for years now.
which includes deep diving, what I need for Little Cayman in August. Daniel
couldn’t come along, so I was in a class of strangers. Even the teacher was a
stranger [unlike last summer]. They didn’t have as much patience with me
because everyone had been diving several times except me. I couldn’t even
remember how to put my equipment together. It was embarrassing and frustrating.
Plus, these dives were a lot scarier. They were all in the lake, which is fine, but the visibility was so poor, I
felt very claustrophobic.
platform, swam to another platform, and then to a sunken boat. While at the
boat, my buoyancy issues continued. One of the instructors added weight to my
vest, but while nobody was looking, I shot up to the surface. My buddies didn’t
notice for quite some time, so I just followed their bubbles back to the
starting platform. I later learned that I was wearing a much thicker wetsuit
than I wore last summer, and needed much more weight added to the vest to compensate.
I didn’t know this at the time, and tried really hard not to cry as I waited on
the surface for my group. If Daniel had been there he would have noticed right
away, and helped me figure it out.
|Riding in the back of the scuba van that rescued us from the side of the road. Before things got real.|
but considering the hour and a half drive that morning, the car trouble on the
way, and the stress of diving for the first time in a year, for the second time
in my life, with a group of people I don’t know, having buoyancy issues and a
leak in one of my valves…it got to me.
could see was the person in front of me, so I stayed a bit too close to my
buddy. She was a saint, putting up with me the way she did [the next day she even had to yank me down when I started floating away!]. First we swam with
the wall of the lake to my right. I saw a couple fish, but was too focused on
staying with the group. When we turned around and the wall was on my left, I
kept hitting it and freaking out. The group would stop and look at fish, and I
just wanted to finish up. It was dark and cold and I didn’t like floating into
the wall like I was. I swear I was so calm last summer, but with such limited
visibility at night, yikes.
|Day one frustrations here.|
and retrieve. The first time I went down with my buddy for the deep dive, we
had to come back up because it was too cold. She was having trouble breathing,
and I was having trouble equalizing, so my ears were hurting. One of the
instructors offered to take us one at a time, and I agreed. My buddy already
had her deep diving certification so she decided against going back down. My
ears were still bothering me so I took my time and held on to the rope. For a second I thought I lost the instructor because
it was so murky, but I eventually saw his flashlight. We made it to the bottom
for a few seconds and then went back up. He applauded me while we floated back
up and I couldn’t help but laugh. I was pretty proud of myself for overcoming
that discomfort and fear.
were at the shallower end of the lake, so things kept getting silty. There was
one fortunate occasion when I went down with 2 buddies to search for a tape
measure, and we came down right on it! Well, my buddy came down right on it,
and I came down right on her head. Haha! I’m telling you, I was a mess.
|A bit of ear pain and a retrieved tank later. All done!|
grateful for their patience and my darling diving buddy, Daniel. He keeps me
calm [like when he taught me to snorkel in Hawaii] and checks on me often. I
met some cool people, and some kind people [like the instructor that saved us
on the side of the road!], but oh man. No more lake diving, please.