Monday, June 29, 2009

Bona-fide Certified Scuba Divers

Last Saturday, we went for our final dives and we took our written test, so we are certified. The dives we went on were really good this time, and got to see a bunch of new things.

On our first dive we went to a place called Cathedral. Cathedral is about 40 feet under the surface, and it consists of two huge rocks on either side of a statue of a cross. Its a really beautiful place, with a bunch of different fish. The fish are used to being fed by the divers, so they come right up to you expecting food. Lito, the dive master, brought with him a sack of bread for the fish. These fish must know Lito well, because at one point we couldn't even see him he was covered with so many fish.

We stopped at the cross, and Lito handed me a fist full of bread. I was immediately swarmed with fish. Normally, this might completely freak me out, but surprisingly I was fine with it. The fish were fairly small, and they were all pretty colors so it wasn't bad. Although, once the bread started to disappear, and my hand started getting eaten by fish I had had enough. I tried to throw the bread... which was stupid, because it doesn't go very far in water... so I was attacked by fish a while longer until all the bread was gone.

Seeing that many fish all around was amazing.

However, I've decided that one of the things I don't like about scuba diving is the lack of communication you have when you are underwater.

Exhibit A -

As we are swimming around the rocks at Cathedral, Lito stops, turns around and begins pointing at a fish.

(Keep in mind, I talk to myself the entire time I'm diving. I get bored if I don't keep myself entertained, and when I get bored I think about being under the water at 60 feet in the middle of the ocean with sea snakes and sharks... then I start to wig out. It's to the point where I might be slightly schizophrenic... I have full blown conversations with myself underwater.)

Me: "Hmm... why is he pointing at that fish? It sure is pretty. Looks like Nemo, but different colors. I bet he is Nemo's cousin. Why is Lito doing that? Is he trying to touch it? Should I touch it? Hmmm... I don't think so... Wait... what? Why is Lito pinching himself? Ooohh... bite. That fish doesn't look like it would bite? OMG! That little shit just bit him. Swim away!

Exhibit B -

Me- "Swim...Swim... What is Lito pointing at? Ok... I'm coming. I'm swimming as fast as I can... What is he writing? Hmmm...S...C..O...R...P..I..O..N...

Scorpion?! Those little suckers live underwater too! Ugh.. I hate scorpions. Where is it? If that things stings me, I'm never diving again. Oh great.. now Lito can't find it either. He is looking everywhere... no scorpion... It's probably right behind me waiting to sting me at any moment." (At this point I'm turning in circles hoping it's not taking a side attack.)

Exhibit C -

Me: "Hmmm.. that looks like a jelly fish. A small jelly fish, but a jelly fish. (I think everything translucent is a jelly fish... so who knows...) Oooo... He's right by Lee. Lee.... Lee! He's going to sting you... PAY ATTENTION TO ME! You are supposed to be watching me to make sure creatures don't attack me, and you aren't! Hellooo...

Fine. I hope you get stung."

Exhibit D -

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!!! Something spikey and scary just latched on to that other diver with us. OMG! He removing it... from his crotch!! Is anybody else seeing this? I would die. What is that?!!!!?!"

Exhibit E -

"Ugh! I hate it when Lito points at things... most of the time they are not good things. Oh great... he is doing that biting motion again. At least it's just with his hand though... Hopefully if it was a shark he would use his whole arms. The worst part is, I don't even see anything... I'm going to get bit by something I just know it."

See.. I talk to myself a lot. And these are just the things I remember....

I decided I need a whistle and one of those writing boards so I can ask questions, and talk to other people besides myself underwater. I think I would have way more fun that way. Lee didn't seem thrilled with the idea.

I wonder why?...

Oh well.

Our final certification dive was a success, but it did not go with out injury. Lee smacked his hand on some coral and got a pretty bad cut, and I got stung or something. At one point my arm started hurting pretty bad, then it just became this dull stinging feeling. It still kind of stings 2 days later... which sounds pretty serious if you ask me.

I told Lee I think it could be some kind of flesh eating bacteria... He just rolled his eyes. Which is fine... but when my left arm falls off after a week... he's in big trouble!

We both did really well on our tests too. I was a little worried about it though. Lee didn't seem to be, "Most of it will probably be about pressure and buoyancy... easy stuff."


I'm sure he learned about that stuff in all his "cool kid" college classes... but my classes consisted of creative advertising strategies, and media theories.

I don't get excited about Boyle or his law... Sorry.

Studying for scuba felt like school all over again. And just like when I was in college I started out with the best intentions about preparing for the test. After all, I should probably understand the material since my life might be on the line....

But just like every other test I've ever taken, I waited until the morning I was supposed to take the test to start studying. And just like any other study session, I didn't actually read the book... I just spent about an hour finding and highlighting the answers to the review. Color coded of course. And just like every other test I've ever taken I got an A.

Ok... that's a lie.

I mean, I got an A... but I didn't always get A's on tests. But hey, I graduated with honors... so I must have done something right.

Some of the things in the book though have to be a joke. For instance, "You can carry a dive knife.... Besides the obvious - cutting - you can measure, pry, saw and pound, always being mindful not to harm aquatic life. Your dive knife is not a weapon."


Yeah right! If I feel the least bit threatened I will not hesitate to slash snake head or to stab a shark in the eye.