So today, was Day 2 of confined water (and then afterwards the last few classroom lectures and the final).
The skills today went much much better. I kind of ended up having a
private lesson, because I got behind on the first scuba skill, and
didn't really catch up.
To start, we did some free diving skills, just in swim suits. The first thing we did was the 300 m
snorkel/fin swim, and I couldn't do it. The snorkel freaks me out if I
have to use it continuously like that- stopping was not allowed (though I saw another woman stop a number of times, and they didn't make her restart, still I suck at swimming above water in fins, and I just can't snorkel continuously) Apparently the shop does not
normally offer it, but they let me do the 200 m swim, that PADI training standards allows. No fins, no snorkel, just normal swimming. That was no
Then we did the snorkel dive skills (dive under, blow out
water, dive under, etc). That was okay, but after a few dives I'd have
to stop, lift my mask up, breathe a second, then start again. I plan to go to the city
pool and try to snorkel practice a bit. I thought getting more
comfortable in the mask would help my snorkeling, as I've always blamed
that for my crappy snorkeling, but I'm not sure that is the issue. I am
much more comfortable in my mask than I used to be, I still don't like
it on at the surface, but I can breathe through my mouth now. Just can't
see anything because the nose exhaling fogs it up (can see underwater
Next we did the 10 minute float, and that is my one A+ skill. I
float so well I probably could have taken a nap, just closed my eyes
and relaxed. I had to do a 30 minute tread for rowing, so this was
So then we got all our gear on, I was nervous about the giant stride (giant step off the side of the boat/pool, apparently the rolling off is just for Navy SEALS and television shows),
but when I did it did fine. We checked weights, they said since I was anxious
and breathing a bit heavy, to go with about 2 lbs more than I needed,
and I was good to go.
We did two different type of "tired diver tows" and I'm able to pull Kevin on the surface. No problem there.
So the first SCUBA skill was to manually inflate the BCD. I got a
really good breath in it, switched to my regulator well, switched again, got a good breath
into the BCD, then couldn't get the regulator in. I blew into it,
but it still felt full of water. I purged it but still couldn't take a
deep breathe. I thumbed it, and went up, exhaling. So I "bolted", but did
it at the "safe rate", guess that isn't really bolting, just giving up. When I got up there one of the instructors
talked to me for awhile, asked me if I was doing this because my husband
wanted me too (good question, but no- it was my idea), asked me if I've
always dealt with a fear of water (nope, no fear of water, fear of not
breathing...), asked about claustrophobia (little of that), and took me
over the shallow end. This is where we then took a lot of time, and why
I got so far behind the class. He had me put my reg in, breathe, take
it out- exhale slowly (slower, slower...), put it in, probably 10 times.
All above the water. Then we did it below the water. Then we moved
over to the deep end and did it again.
So that got me a lot more comfortable with it. Then I went down, did
the BCD manual inflation, did the fin tip exercise, hovered, etc. My
boyancy isn't great, but it is improving. By the end of the class I swam
across the bottom of the pool only killing one tiny patch of "coral",
didn't annihilate the entire reef like yesterday.
Then I did the BCD off and back on underwater. This had the instructor
laughing at me. I could not get the darn thing back on. It was major
underwater acrobatics. He said he was about to thumb me up to talk
about it, but I didn't look like I was panicing and kept going, so he
let me. I finally got the stupid thing on, probably head over heals 3
times. But like I said, I'm not scared of water, my regulator was in my
mouth and no one was making me take it out, so it was just a matter of
time, trial and error, and feet floating over my head (my legs are
"light", that means fat...)
Taking the weights out of my weight belt was fine, getting them back in
was a bit tough. BCD removal/put back on on the surface was fine.
Out of air exercise in the deep end went just fine. By this point we'd
done regulator in and out a million times and I got it in one try. I
also got to experience a slightly different thing from yesterday because
this instructor had his octo around his neck and donated his primary.
It also had a 7 foot hose, so I swam next to him, instead of holding on.
The only other thing I had a little trouble with was the no mask swim.
But I shouldn't have. The swim was absolutely okay. It was getting the
mask back on, but not really. I was wearing a hood (just to get that
variable out of the way before the quarry dive) and when I put the mask
back on, I couldn't find the hood. So I couldn't figure out how to make
sure the hood was clear of the mask, and since I felt water under my
nose, I thought I couldn't clear it. I wear contacts so I couldn't open
my eyes, so I didn't know how to ask what I should try to do (I was
breathing okay). I thumbed it, so I could go up to talk to him. The
instructor was wondering what the heck was wrong. Apparently my mask
WAS clear (I almost always breathe out through my nose, mask clear is
not an issue- if this happens during checkout, he told me just to open
my eyes a little to check if they are dry, because I'm probably done
with the skill) , I just had some water under my nose so it didn't feel
clear. Dumb. He just had me go under water, take it off and on again,
and it was fine.
At this point the rest of the class was in 20 minutes free time, so I
got 10 minutes free time. I did regulator in/out of my mouth about 20
times. I swam to work on my buoyancy. While I had a few errors today,
there were no major freakouts, no hyperventilating, and the things I
couldn't do yesterday I practiced today.
So in the end, I passed my "final exam" (I missed a question, out of 50- I'm so mad, because I debated the options for a bit...) I decided I am not going to go on to the Open Water checkout dives yet, but spend a little more time in the pool practicing skills. Kevin is going to do the checkout dives in June, then I'll go to the pool in July, then hopefully the check out dives in July. It might be better to do them separate. That way he doesn't have to worry about me, and I don't need to worry about what he thinks about what I'm doing...
"You're My Inspiration" #2
11 hours ago