12.10.2008

My Big Scuba Weekend!

As I stated in my last post, I'm working my way towards becoming a PADI certified open water scuba diver. This past weekend was part 1 of my open water training. On Saturday, I was in the classroom from about 8:30 am to 11:15 am. After lunch we all met up at Oakland University's pool where we had to pass a variety of scuba skills.
Let it be known that I have never been the type to swim laps for fun. I had read in my PADI book (yes, I also had to read a 250 page book and watch a few hours of instructional DVDs before the class) that there would be a swim test before the pool training began. I looked at it with a bit of dread, but figured that since I had already paid (a lot) for the class, they couldn't possibly turn me away, right? I kinda figured it was something they'd skip over anyway.
Wrong.
We started off the pool training with our swim test. I had to swim 200 meters and then tread water for 10 minutes. Thank God above that I was somehow able to accomplish both (because I never had before!).
So, next we suited up in all the gear.

Let me tell ya, all that gear adds up to be HEAVY. Not quite sure how I'll manage to suit up on a rocking boat in Jamaica.
I knew many of the tasks we'd have to prove we could do, and I'll admit that some of them really intimidated me. For example, when you scuba dive, you wear a BCD (buoyancy control device). Basically it is a vest that you can inflate and deflate with the touch of a button (because it is hooked up to your air tank). One of the tasks we had to do involved going to the bottom of the pool, taking our regulator out of our mouth, and orally inflating the vest underwater. Imagine going to the bottom of a pool, removing your air source from your mouth, and blowing up a balloon. Dude, I was kind of afraid I'd somehow drown myself!
I am proud to say that I and my classmate successfully performed ALL the necessary tasks and that our instructor was really impressed with our performance. Yeah!
The scuba training really stretched me much more physically and mentally than I thought it would. I have gained SO much self-confidence and self-reliance that I didn't have before. Knowing that I can take care of myself in potentially risky conditions has been very liberating for me. I can't wait to continue my training. I successfully passed all my quizzes, my final and all my confined water dives this weekend. Next up, I'll need to make 4 open water dives with an instructor or dive master. I'm hoping to do 2 dives in Jamaica in February and do the other two dives in Michigan in the spring (need more training before I can do ice diving).

My instructor, helpers, and classmate were all fab!

A swim team was practicing while we were training...we just swam right under them!

My buddy kept reminding me that "thumbs up" does not translate to "good" in scuba hand signals...it means "ascend". Obviously I hadn't yet gotten the message in this pic.

This was the last task we had to accomplish. Our instructor turned off our air so that we would know what it feels like. He said he has never seen 2 girls last longer with shut off air. Ha!


Class is more fun underwater!

2 comments:

Elle Bee said...

I'm really proud of you Becca!

So awesome!

Amy @ Thoughts from the Mrs. said...

Becca, you're my hero. I can't believe all of the things you're accomplishing! I'm feeling inspired to actually do some of the things I've always wanted to do.
YAY FOR BECCA THE BRAVE!