Finally, I’m a Certified Diver!!!

With Pete, my instructor, minutes after I had become certified Yes, I finally managed to have some time off to obtain my PADI Open Water Certification. After I did my two intro dives with Down Under Dive two weeks ago, it was in my mind wanted to become a certified diver so I could join some of my Aussie friends in their diving expeditions. It’a a shame I haven’t been able to convince Steve to scuba dive with me, so I had to do it on my own. Well, too bad for him!!!

I did the course with Deep Sea Divers Den and they were kind enough to let me do it over two consecutive weekends. The first two days were in the class and swimming pool, learning the theory and a few skills that we had to practise before going to the sea. And the second weekend we went to the Great Barrier Reef to practice those skills in the ocean and obtain our title. We left early on Friday morning, of course after delivering a few of our wonderful Cairns Digital Underwater Cameras. The first part of the day we spent on their day boat, having two different opportunities to dive. Apart from practising the skills, ie. how to breathe if your regulator falls off your mouth, what to do if you run out of air (scary, isn’t it?), etc, Pete, our instructor, took us for a fun dive as well. We saw lots of different corals and fish, including a Trigger Fish. They can be kind of dangerous if they feel threatened and their bite is painful. So we kept away from them as much as we could. And just as we were reaching the boat we spotted a turtle, slowly swimming around the divers, disappearing in the distance and coming back a few minutes later. Absolutely wonderful.

In the afternoon we were transferred to the overnight boat, where I was sharing a double room with another diver. The boat is really nice, with lots of room for everyone to feel comfortable. While they gave us a short briefing about what we were going to do for the next day, we were eating delicious freshly baked home made muffins, in fact, they were still warm. And five minutes to unpack because we were back in the water again.

The second reef for the day was Norman Reef. Again a bit of training and a leisure dive. By this time we were all feeling much more comfortable in our diving gear. You could tell by us not using our arms and hands as much as in previous dives. Being underwater is a funny feeling, wonderful, though. It’s as if I was in the space, with no gravity and being able to move whichever way I want.

Photo taken with one of our underwater cameras Relaxing just before dinner

And after that dive, time for a shower and relax before dinner. Delicious lasagna and fabulous apple crumble, which I ate lots of and couldn’t move afterwards. Lucky my dives for the day were finished, otherwise I would have sunk straight away. After dinner everyone on the boat got together for a few drinks and a bit of entertainment. The staff were multitasking, and the chef and the skipper were keeping us all entertained playing music and singing. I miss Spanish music, mostly because I cannot sing most of the songs they sing.

My fellow diver partnersThe alarm went off at 5.30am, so we could get ready for our final dive before we were certified. Early, isn’t it? But it was really nice to jump into the cool water, it was pretty hot outside already. And that was the end of our training, now I’m a certified diver and won’t need to pay someone to take me around every time I want to dive. What a feeling… I’ve discovered a passion for diving which I wished Steve shared with me, but that’s life. Although I don’t know how he’s going to take me going on liveaboards now and then. Only one night away and my inbox was full of messages telling me he missed me because he had nobody to laugh at his jokes. He’s always been appreciative of an audience.

But it was the last dive we’ll remember most. Already without a guide, we wandered off on our own. We knew the current to be strong, so tried to swim against it. We did for a while, but as we got more and more tired we just wouldn’t move and, worst of all, our air was getting low. We went to the surface and tried to reach the boat, which seemed far away. Ten minutes swimming and we were just as far. Ashamed, we signalled the boat to be picked up and they came rapidly. We were to hang on to some ropes and they would tow us back to the boat. But then the boat spotted someone in distress and had to go and rescue them first. Knowing that we were going to be transported to the boat, we let ourselves go and drifted for many metres. But luckily we were rescued, along with many other people, and that was the end of our little adventure.

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3 Responses to “Finally, I’m a Certified Diver!!!”

  1. Glenn Says:

    Congratulations Maria on getting certified. It is a great and wonderous world beneath the water’s surface.
    The Great Barrier Reef is one of the best dive spots in the world and now you get to experience it in person.
    Not only will you be able to report on the wonderful places to visit in TNQ on land but now the must see places underwater. The adventures continue to grow!!

  2. Steve Says:

    Hey Glenn, good to hear from you. I’ve been trying to email you but the email keeps bouncing back. Do you have an alternate email address that you can email me?

  3. alfonso Says:

    Hola, chicos, me ha dicho Des que vais a venir para Navidades. Me encantaría veros, aunque igual no coincidimos. Pero ya veo que estáis muy guapos . Un beso.

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