Those of you who have been reading my blog since the very beginning will remember a few posts from back in 2010 and probably 2011 where I talked about going scuba diving with an organization called the Dive Pirates. My brother in law and I were going through the certification process and were supposed to go to the Cayman Islands a few years ago as the big culmination.
Well as you may or may not have noticed it never happened. The first time we were supposed to be there was 2011 but we moved to Texas at the same time so we had to postpone it.
The next year was on track until I landed a position at the Airman Leadership School at Lackland so again I postponed the trip.
Last year we had just retired and moved into a new house and with all the changes going on then I just couldn’t swing it.
Finally, four years later, I’m excited to share with you all that I finally finished my scuba certification and I’m ready to head out to the Cayman! This time it’s happening for real!
I’ve been working with a few good friends from Dive Masters in San Antonio and we spent the last few Tuesday’s up in the Comal river knocking out the last open water dives I needed to finish. It feels awesome to finally be done!
The process involves learning certain skills then performing them under water. Among others, you have to be able to flood your mask then clear it, find and recover lost regulators, remove gear then climb back into it, and what to do when you or your buddy runs out of air.
The whole time instructors were watching me to make sure I wasn’t going to panic or die or anything like that. Fortunately I’m pretty good at keeping calm so it went great! I’ve also had some practice lugging around tons of gear so I know how to keep track of things.
Yesterday after we finished the formal part we were able to just follow the current down river for a while and explore along the bottom. We found a sweet Coke can, an old sandal, and a dead crawdad that I accidentally mashed before I realized what it was. It was pretty sweet.
At one point I was handed a fishing weight with some line attached to it. I gave it a couple tugs then the instructor opened my hand and pulled it away from me to keep the hook out of my hand. It wasn’t until later, a little way down stream that I learned that the weight I was pulling was attached to some guy’s rod on the bank of the river.
Neither one of the instructors knew it was being used until I pulled on it and one of them noticed it getting reeled in. Apparently the guy was making angry faces at us when we got out. It makes me wonder if he could see us from the bank.
Now that I’m certified and my passport is on the way there shouldn’t be anything to stop me from going on the trip to the Cayman this year! This will be my first time out of country if you don’t count Afghanistan. I’m planning to end this trip better than that one. I like my remaining limbs where they are thank you.