I am now PADI certified open water scuba diver!!! PTL that we safely resurfaced. Also thoroughly amazed by the beauty of God’s creation down in the deep blue ocean!
Being the beach boy that he is, UN signed me up for open water diving class the first week we got to Okinawa. The class was one week long, first two days in the classroom, second two days in the pool, and weekend in open water! It was a busy week, but not only did I get to see the beautiful water world, I also got to know myself more!
We started learning some skills on the first day we got into the pool. Everything went smoothly until when we got to 12 ft and I had to fully flood my mask and clear it. I totally freaked out!!! Water got into my nose and I felt like I was drowning, lost control and instinctively tried to resurface (a big no no in scuba diving). Thankfully my instructor held onto me and calmed me down so I could master this very important skill!
Terrified from that incidence, I had nightmares about drowning, and didn’t sleep well that night. I was so physically and mentally tired that I didn’t want to continue on the second day. I hesitated going into the pool on the second day, and even told UN that I wanted to go home. After I said those words, I went back into the water (what a dramatic change!) Glad to report second day went splendidly and I mastered all the skills taught that day.
On the weekend we practiced in open water, and dove for a total of four times. The view under the sea was spectacular, so thankful that my instructor, classmates and UN were so encouraging and didn’t let me give up. They even helped me carried the very heavy oxygen tank when the waves were crashing on me, and made sure that I was good at all times!
Some people have asked me about the class, here’s some info:
Our certification class was done through a military base dive shop, and is PADI certified. Each class has no more than 6 people. Costs about $300 USD per person, and includes instruction materials, dive computer, equipment rentals (need to purchase your own mask, snorkel, shoes and fins), and it lasts for a whole week. The last two days of open water dive, the instructor will determine suitable dive spots according to the weather that day. We started the day’s dive at 6:30 am. We dove for a total of four times and down to 60 ft. The first three dives were skills testing and the last dive was a fun dive. After we passed all written and underwater skills testing we will receive our PADI certification in the mail!