Iâ€™ve always been pretty adventurous. I tried skydiving when I was 19, Iâ€™ve been snowboarding for about 10 years, done lots of hiking, and Iâ€™ve tried my hand at surfing in Costa Rica and Bali. For some reason diving always interested me but never registered as something I could do, maybe because Iâ€™ve never lived near an ocean.
Well my friends, a new chapter of my life has begun. The world of diving offers so much. Itâ€™s a special experience for humans, out of their natural environment, floating weightlessly among the fish and seeing the vast coral ecosystems that are hidden from the surface.
Those are my legs!
Tuesday was a full day of lessons and tests for me. I watched three videos in total, read three chapters of the PADI Open Water Diver Manual, and took three short tests. That was the â€œin-classâ€ part. The â€œpracticalâ€ part included two pool submersions where I had to learn all sorts of skills, practice hand signals, simulate running out of air and sharing your â€œbuddyâ€™sâ€ secondary air source, practice buoyancy control, among others. This includes learning about the equipment, how to put the tank and regulator and buoyancy control device (BCD â€“ thatâ€™s the vest) together and turn on the air, check the pressure, etc.
After I passed all the tests and practiced the necessary skills, Fabian, my instructor, took me out to the ocean for the real deal, practicing skills at the bottom of the ocean. I had already been out once the day before after my first pool submersion and had been doing fine so this was just a progression.
Then I went back for the final test and I now have the PADI Scuba Diver certification. The full Open Water Diver certification takes a little while longer, but this one allows me to dive anywhere in the world, to a depth of 40ft as long as an instructor dives with me.
I have to say I am really impressed by the attention and service I got from Blue Life Dive Center because knowing my time was limited, Fabian and his father, Educardo, the owners of the shop, made sure I was able to complete all the requirements.
That’s me in relaxed diving form 🙂
All the other divers on the trip were really happy for me, congratulating me on â€œjoining their clubâ€ and toasting to me at dinner which was really nice.
For our last night on San Andres before heading to Providencia we went to an excellent restaurant that served fondues and imported cheese and wine, a nice end to a great first day in the world of diving. Thanks to Fabian for the pics!