Open Water Certified!!

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Dec 20- We got signed up and started our lessons in the afternoon; it was a long and boring 3hrs in the classroom, not much to report here. Our instructor Tina turned out to be from Calgary though and she knows where Camrose is, pretty cool.
Dec 21- We had to get up bright and early to finish our last couple chapters of classroom work on this morning. They turned out to go by so quick though that we had plenty of time to write our final test before lunch so we all opted to do that while it was still fresh in our memories instead of having to review that night and write the test the next day....and everyone passed!
Then it was time to get geared up, which included practising setting up and taking apart our equipment 5 times; really boring but James got a free beer for being the quickest when we did a race with one of the set-ups.
After everything was set up we packed it up and went to the training pool for our pool skills lesson. We practised skills like taking our mask off under water and clearing the water out, using our lungs to balance us under water between the pool bottom and the surface, using our buddy's second air source if we run out, etc, etc.
We were in the pool for about 5 hours and after a while it got freezing cold cause the sun was going down and we just wanted out!
That night for supper we got lucky and there was a free bbq at the resort bar, wahoo!
Dec 22- This was the day we finally got to go scuba diving for real! We headed out on a fully packed boat with a bunch of other class groups and went to a spot called twins. For our first dives we just went down 12m but it was pretty cool all the same. Our first dive James had some troubles going down because there was a hole in his mask and it kept leaking water in, luckily Tina had an extra and he switched under water; then we practised our mask removal and buoancy again and got in pairs to swim around the spot of reef following our instructor. It was cool watching the big schools of fish swim all around us and then the few lonely fish poking in and out of the reef. We saw angel fish, some bana fish, and some others we can't remember.
Then we surfaced and waited on the boat for about an hour before the second dive. Getting to and from the boat was pretty tiring and difficult though cz there were some pretty choppy waves all around us.
The second dive was pretty much the same as the first, go under, follow our instructor around, practise some skills (this time on the surface), then pull ourselves back to the boat.
It was getting a little uncormfortable/annoying swimming around in our class of seven though. We had to space ourselves out good in order to give ourselves enough room to move around but that didn't always work out well and we all kept bumping and swimming into eachother; we can't wait to go out on our own! Hopefully in Bali.
Dec 24- Merry x-mas eve and our last day of diving to be fully certified! The night before we were talking to Tina and she gave us the great idea to buy santa hats and wear them on our dive, so we did and we looked SOOOO cool! lol
We got up and went out on the boat around 7am. This time we went to a place called whiterock and got to go down 18m. Our instructor Tina had an ear infection and couldn't take us down so we got a new guy named Iain (which Tina had told me and James the night before to play a couple tricks on). Hehehe
Our first dive went great, we saw some barracuda's, a sting ray, a puffer fish, and some more miscellaneous various multi coloured fish. Very cool!
Then we were back on the boat which took us back to twins like the day before. While waiting for some of our group to go out and finish some skills they hadn't got to do the day before we sat on the boat and talked to our instructor a bit; this is when we decided we knew him enough to do what Tina had told us. I (Jackie) went up to Iain (told him "Tina told me too") and wiped my hand down his face and said "vanilla face"...Tina didn't explain what exactly it meant or why I was doing it but Iain took it in good spirits, laughed, and dammed Tina!
Then it was James' turn, Tina's boyfriend told him he'd give him a case of beer if he turned Iain's tank off, apparently people do this to him all the time. So when we were in the water James got up behind him and shut it off. About two seconds later Iain put his regulator in to look down and check the water below and on our other instructor down below. As soon as he pulled his head back up he looked right at James and said "Tina told you to do that too hey?" ahahaha. Yup. He said he was wondering why James was getting so close to him and made him feel a bit uncomfortable but just thought it was cz he was learning and couldn't control where he floated to. lol
He then made us stay to the left of him where he could keep an eye on us cz he no longer trusted us "canadians", haha, I think that included Tina too!
When we went down for our second dive we had to do navigational skills and when Iain came to get us set up he pointed to James' compass and told him to navigate then pointed at me (as if he was going to give me directions) and slid his hand down my face and I could faintly hear him saying "vanilla face" into his respirator...damnit! Then just as we were about to go he tried to turn James' tank off....but no luck James could feel it!
After an awesome morning under the water we got back to eat lunch, let our santa hats dry out, have a nap, and then get ready for the Xmas Eve party!
At about eight we watched our scuba diving video from that day (they had a guy follow us the whole day taking some shots of us, then he put it together for a video that night). It was pretty awesome to watch...and of course James acted up for the camera everytime it was near! lol
Then we played sociables with a bunch of canadians and taught it to the non-canadians at the table and half the group was drunk by the end of it. Then a cab ride to another beach for the party. After one drink at that bar we decided it was time for a bucket; that lasted us the rest of the night, especially after Iain treated us to a sambuca shot that we could barely keep down...we hate that stuff!
Later on we wandered down the beach to another bar whose beach was crawling with partiers and after trying to dance in the sand for a while (which can be very annoying and tiring) it was late, we were wiped and us two and our new friends from switzerland, Thomas and Louise, made our way back to our rooms. James ended up smashing his toe and cutting it on a speedbump (not sure exactly how this really happened) and Thomas was on the search for a McDonald's on the way back which I (Jackie) fully supported but when we realized we were out of luck we opted for a crepe type thing with cut up hot dog and onion inside....delicious!!
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