Saturday, October 9, 2010
Scuba Certification: Part 3 - "And Then There Were Two"
This is not an actual picture of me, but I think that this was the expression that I had going into our first open water dive. The certification process consists of prework, a written test, a few hours of classroom instruction, 1 1/2 days of training in a pool, and then a series of 4 "open water" dives which are usually done over two days.
In Minnesota that means that you get to head over to your nearest lake for you open water dives. Keep in mind that our lakes are not very clear or very warm - especially in October. Unfortunately we waited until the very end of the diving season to get our training done. This meant having the pleasure of squeezing into 7mm wetsuits (you normally wear 3mm), and wearing gloves, socks and a hood to try and keep warm.
Gloves can suck as you are a bit clumsy in them and it is harder to manipulate things with your hands- especially under water.
Hoods can suck as it feels like your head is being squeezed and most importantly, you often get your mask stuck on them so they make water continuously leak into your mask.
The socks I am totally fine with because my feet are always cold.
I was feeling pretty apprehensive about the whole thing and we had a 45 minute drive to the lake - plenty of time to fully psych myself out. Because it was chilly the instructor was in a hurry to get this whole thing over with. Unfortunately a good way to make someone who is already anxious feel even more anxious is to rush them. I panicked before we even went under the water. I started to swim to shore. I was done with SCUBA.
Mark was pretty good about the whole thing. He was hoping that I just needed a little pep talk like the last dive and that I would go back. I told him I was done. I said that I barely felt comfortable in the pool and absolutely don't feel comfortable in the open water. Luckily the instructors stayed back and let him make up what he missed so that he was able to finish his certification.
At least I tried.
Location: Stillwater, MN, USA