Dive! Dive!

Sun 31 July 2011

My shiny new PADI card arrived in the mail.  Now I'm left with the same dilemma I started with - where should I dive in New England?  The water is cold and gray here.  I say that with love.  Brrr.

I took the Open Water Diver class in Cambodia, where it's much warmer and the water is blue. I knocked off the classroom part in Scuba Nation's Phnom Penh office while I was there for meetings.  The pool section and open water trip were held in Sihanoukville.

People have asked me about Sihanoukville. To tell you the truth, I barely saw it.  When I was on dry land, I was exhausted from a day in the pool.  We were at sea for the other two days. The ocean and islands were beautiful, though.

There were about fifteen of us on the boat: eight students, four instructors, and three boat crew.  It was a mini-UN. Among us, we were from America, Cambodia, England, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and France.   Four of us were in the newbie class.  The others were taking more advanced courses, which  included a night dive. It was strange to watch their flashlights moving under the water.  We stayed on board and drank beer.

Marija, our instructor,  had an amazing knack for radiating calm. She managed it even underwater with her face hidden by equipment.  That's a handy superpower!  Maybe it's something they teach in instructor training. All of my group was in a constant state of low-grade freakout.   There's a lot to get used to, from the physical discomfort of the equipment to resisting the instinct to bolt for the surface. The material is structured in small chunks so you can adapt without being overwhelmed.  Each dive got easier.   Still, I look forward to the first dive where I relax and enjoy the pretty fishies.

Do we have pretty fishies in New England?  I may have to go somewhere tropical.

Category: Outings

Tags: scuba /