Underwater for an hour: down under[water] in the land down under

Many of you probably know that I was a swimmer and that I love anything that has to do with the water… except for maybe this rain. It’s been raining for almost 3 weeks now…ugh.

A few weeks ago I got a discount for a scuba diving certification class so I figured why not. I want to go to the Great Barrier Reef anyway, why not dive? For our first day of class, we went to the pool to learn diving basics and practice so we’ll be ready in the ocean. I’ve spent a lot of time in the pool over the years but never wearing:

  • A wetsuit
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Boots
  • Flippers

&

  • A DCB (essentially a floating backpack and an oxygen tank)

The first breath I ever took with an oxygen tank was the scariest thing I have ever done. My instructor taught us the basics but the second I went underwater, I forgot everything she had said. I panicked when I couldn’t breathe and all I could see were bubbles and surfaced almost instantly. Once I calmed down, I went back under the water and figured out how breathing from an oxygen tank works. Even with an oxygen tank, you never feel like you have enough oxygen in your lungs. Even if you take a deep breath or multiple breaths, it’s never as satisfying as a deep breath above water—but that didn’t stop me from staying under!

Once everyone had adjusted, our instructor led us through a few exercises to make us more confident underwater. Because she couldn’t talk to us underwater, she would act out what she wanted us to do, and then swim in front of us and watch us. If we did it right, she would shake our hand. We learned how to take out my regulator (thing the gives you oxygen) and blow out the water in order to start oxygen flow and  get water out of your mask while you’re still underwater. Weird right?

Divers usually move pretty slow in the water so I thought that I would find diving a little boring at times but it’s not at all. It’s exhilarating to be able to stay under for so long but still having so much control under the water. I’m sure the control aspect will be a lot different in the ocean but we’ll see. This weekend I will do 4 ocean dives, which will lead to the conclusion of my scuba certification!

 

Cheers.

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