Thursday, 14 April
Usually the wind dies down at night and builds up during the day. I heard wind through the night but it did not keep me from getting a good night’s sleep. Sunrise is about 5:20 and I have an east facing window so the sun woke me around 5:00. I was easily able to fall back asleep but will be sure to pull my curtain shut tonight.
I met Nicole for breakfast and we were joined by Jens, the uber diver we met yesterday afternoon. I had my Welcome Dive scheduled for 9:30. The dive included Jens, a mother-son and Nicole came along. We had two dive masters. Along with a short orientation to the reefs, the welcome dive includes a review of some safety procedures. First stop is to make sure you are carrying the proper amount of weight to be neutrally buoyant. You want to neither rise or sink in the water with no air added to your BCD (Buoyancy Control Device). After that there are three procedures to demonstrate. You flood your mask with water and then show how to empty it. This is done by tilting your mask a little so it is open at the bottom and then breathing out through your nose to empty the water. Next is regulator recovery, You remove your regulator from your mouth and then recover it and put it back in. The trick here is to remember to exhale before you inhale or you get a mouthful of water on your first breath. Finally, you demonstrate out of air. Your buddy signals out of air and you hand them your alternate air source and hold them by the shoulder. Each regulator set up includes two air sources, this is the part you put in your mouth. You use your primary air source while diving and the secondary air source is to be used by your buddy in an emergency.
After getting the requirements out of the way, we headed over the sea grass and to the south reef. There is supposed to be a seahorse in the sea grass but we did not find him. There were about a dozen squid above the grass. Since we had calamari for dinner last night, it was good to see them there. In the way back we saw some seamoths. These use their fins to “walk” on the sand. Among the many fish we saw was a lionfish, pipe fish and a clownfish. Photos are not mine!
Considering it was my first dive in nearly three years I was happy with my buoyancy control and air consumption. We were underwater for fifty five minutes. The water temperature was 72 degrees. Not as warm as it was in November but still comfortable. Air temperature was about 80-85. It is always cold when you step out of your wetsuit.
After diving it was time to sit on the beach in the sun for a while. Nicole and I split a chili pizza for lunch. Jalapenos? with some groundbeef for toppings. Afternoon coffee and relax for a while before dinner.
Tomorrow’s plan, if there is such a thing, is for a morning and afternoon dive. There are a couple of things we would like to see and do, seahorses, morays, octopus and deep dive (about 100 feet). We have had some discussion of whether or not we will want to do a night dive later on. Last time here we were certified for night diving.
Neil Young – “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”