Sunday, January 17, 2016

Plongee - PADI Open Water Scuba Certificate for Sabrina

Part One 12-21-15
FYI - Plongee is dive in French and WAY more fun to say than dive.  "Plongee, plongee, plongee."  Seriously, try it.

I am finishing my scuba certificate is week.  I did a classroom stuff online this summer.  We didn't have internet at the Ham Shack (the house where we lived) so I went to our local grocery store in KC and used their internet.  Five chapters with little quizzes and final quiz at the end of each chapter plus a big final took me about 11-12 hours spread out over 5 days.  I passed 100%.

Then I did the four pool dives (confined water) with KC Dive Shop.  I borrowed a mask and fins from a friend in KC since my stuff was in the boat.  Thank you Kimberly!  The shop had the rest.  The first class was so so, but the rest of the classes got better as I got used to it.  I passed all the skills for the confined water portion and a final test.  Thank you to KC Dive Shop and my instructor Roger Mose.

This morning was the first of my 4 open water dives with a shop here in Carriacou - Lumbadive.  Tom went lion fish hunting with this shop last season and then after the hunt, Lumbadive owners (Richard and Diane) invited us to dinner at their house, grilling up the lion fish -yum.  They are a nice French Canadian couple that have owned the shop for several years.  I liked them so that is how I decided to finish up my scuba here.  In KC, you have to go to Beaver Lake - cold and low visibility......NO thank you.

Me after diving
I purchased a new full length wet suit (3mm) in Miami from Divers Direct right before we flew back home to sv Honey Ryder.  Purple and black!!!  Equipment is expensive in KC and limited choice.  The same is true in the Caribbean.  I also got a wet suit top (2mm) to use when I snorkel or clean the bottom of the boat.  Divers Direct is a big mega shop in FL so prices and selection are much better.   I decided not to get equipment beyond that because I want to see 1.)  How much I like scuba and 2.)  How much we go diving.  Equipment is expensive and takes up space on our boat.  All the dive shops have gear for divers to rent.  Lumbadive has nice stuff.  Tom has full dive gear including tank aboard so we can use that if we need to get under the boat to do work.  He had to twice last season.    
Me and my instructor Sylvain
We went to the shop at 9am.  I had to take a small quiz.  I had already taken it before but it was a good fresher.  Then my instructor - Sylvain talked with me just a bit about what we were going to do.  He had me set up my gear, showing me a few tricks he finds helpful.  The captain of the boat (Travis) loaded everything - woo carrying heavy tanks and such.  Off we went.  It was a quick 10 min ride to the south mouth of this bay.  We suited up and the instructor talked with me some more.  Tom was buddied up with the instructors wife, Joanne. She had a really nice underwater camera and took pics and video.

Super Plongee Tom
I lucked out as Lumbadive didn't have any other students so basically I had private instruction the whole time.  In KC there were ten of us trying to get used to the equipment and feel of scuba aka flopping around in the pool, like drunken seals.

We got into the water and he checked my weighs and buoyancy.  We followed a rope down to the seabed about 30 -35 feet down.  It was a small reef but very kewl.  We spent an hour swimming around it looking at all the kewl stuff.  We saw several spotted eels and one very small green eel.  We saw 2 tiny, tiny lobsters and a big lion fish (12" long). Tom and his partner saw an octopus.  I didn't see it.  I want so badly to see an octopus.  Of course tons and tons of colorful reef fish.  It was great because we weren't in a hurry like you are when you are snorkeling and you dive down for a quick look on a big breath.
Plongee pair - I was happy, it was just bright out
I did struggle a bit with my buoyancy - staying level and thus down.  That is natural for most people at first or so I am told. Because I was going up and down some, I also had to clear my ears more and thus had a few issues towards the end with that.  Overall ok.  The instructor said I did fine and that all of at is quite normal on the first dive.  He said I reacted well and didn't panic.
Tomorrow is dive two.  We will go back to the same reef but this time I will have to do skills I learned in the pool.  Oh boy.  Fingers crossed I can remember and do them.

No comments:

Post a Comment