Kail and I completed our first (and only) confined water dive on Saturday. It was very exciting. Even though we were only in a pool (and for half of that time, in water shallow enough to stand in), I was a little bit nervous. Because, you know, the whole breathing-under-water thing.But we did it, and I only had to stand up once, when we were clearing our masks and I couldn’t quite do it and inhaled water through my nose. Our instructor said we were a really easy group (me, Kail and a 16-year-old boy) and we pretty much got the basics down on the first try. I was motivated to not be shown up by a 16-year-old.We met up at Oceanica, where we went over all the equipment and how to put everything together. We got outfitted with wetsuits, water shoes and fins, and off we went. At the pool, we practiced all the basics:
- putting on our equipment, which is really heavy and hot;
- giant stride entry (basically taking a big step — not a jump — into the water);
- getting used to breathing underwater with just our faces in;
- getting used to breathing underwater on our knees;
- taking out our regulators (breathing device) and putting them back in our mouths while underwater;
- “losing” our regulators, “finding” them and putting them back in our mouths while underwater;
- partially filling our masks with water and clearing them while underwater;
- fully filling our masks with water and clearing them while underwater;
- breathing without our masks for 30 seconds, then putting them back on and clearing them while underwater;
- feeling the sensation of running out of air (not fun!);
- signaling to our buddy that we are out of air and breathing out of their alternate air source;
- getting neutrally buoyant (not sure I really have this down); and
- swimming without our masks on (with eyes closed and guided by a buddy, for those of us who wear contacts).
The entire thing only took about 2.5 hours, including setup and transportation. I would say we were underwater for maybe 45 minutes to an hour. The sensation of breathing underwater is pretty crazy.At first I was like, I can’t do this. I didn’t feel like I was really getting enough air, but you do — you just have to calm down and breathe slowly. Which, again, is easy to do in a pool in four feet of water, but a different experience the ocean. Vamos a ver!We’ve finished our five knowledge classes. This week we take our written test. Next up: The lake!What did you do over the weekend?