Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scuba Diving

This past weekend Corey and I had our first scuba diving lesson. Our friend Dan is a licensed instructor, and the very kind man agreed to let us try it out on our camping trip (since he and his wife are serious divers and had all their gear with them for the weekend). I hadn't realized how involved it is. We had just a very small introduction, and even that took a really long time and was a little bit overwhelming. But it was super duper fun, and totally worth it!

There's A LOT of extremely heavy equipment involved. Getting into and out of the water with all of it strapped on was probably the most difficult part of everything. I've realized that flippers and I don't get along very well. I couldn't maneuver around in them whatsoever. On top of that, all of the equipment I was using was a little too big for me (except for my wetsuit which was a size too small- very attractive, I assure you) and completely unbalanced, so initially when I went in the water I would immediately be pulled onto my back with my flippers sticking straight up. Not ideal. 

We eventually got all the equipment squared away and were taught how to use everything. We learned all the underwater hand signals to use to communicate during a dive. We did a few little drills so we knew how to take care of small issues that might arise and practiced breathing underwater a bit. 

After about an hour of all this prep, we hit the open seas!

... and then promptly turned around. We had gotten maybe 7-ish feet down when Corey pointed out two jelly fish hovering in the distance above us, and that was enough to send me swimming back towards shore. Jelly fish?? No thank you! So we swam back to shallower waters (away from the jelly fish) and spent the rest of the time just swimming back and forth looking at stuff close to shore. It was still cool- we saw giant sea slugs and various fish, as well as a rock fish (that we stayed well clear of), which even Dan had only ever seen 2 of. 

Overall it was a fun experience. I know I'll receive endless mockery for my "extreme passive panic" over a distant jelly fish sighting, but so it goes I suppose. I've decided that before attempting any more scuba diving, I need to do a lot of snorkeling to get used to being in the ocean in the first place. I'm a bit skittish when it comes to little creatures, both on and off land. There's a whole lot in that big blue ocean that could do much more damage than a jelly fish, so it's probably a good idea to get comfortable with that fact before I venture out deep into it.

Eventually though, Corey and I will be scuba certified! It might take a while, but it'll happen! Be prepared, Ocean.


Peter and Stephanie said...

I wanna go snorkel with you!!!! I LOVE snorkel!!!

Stefanie K. said...

Tell us it was at least one of those GIANT man-eating jellyfish! :) Looks like so much fun, I'm jealous!

StumpyG said...

Yay Stephanie we can be Snorkel buddies when you get here!

margaret said...

What a great trip you had. Congratulations on your first scuba diving lesson. You didn't mention anything about land critters on this trip, so either you're getting used to them, or they didn't bother you. What a wonderful adventure - camping and scuba diving in Japan. Thanks for these great posts.