Those of you who read the exhaustive account of our Punta Cana trip will recall that one of our favorite events down there was our “discovery dive.” They gear you up, put you in a swimming pool with an instructor who speaks English reasonably well. He shows you a few emergency techniques (like how to put your mask back on in case some idiot kicks it off, and how to take off and put on your gear in case you get tangled up in something), tells you to “just keep breathing” and out to the deep blue you go.
Our dive occurred in some serious swell, washing back and forth in about 20 feet of water. I nearly blew out my eardrums forgetting to equalize them after a harrowing back roll off a boat that was much higher than Andrew remembers. There wasn’t much to see down there and Andrew was cut for overbreathing and running low on air a full 20 minutes before I had to come up [ED NOTE: Gotta rub that in, eh? 😉]. We LOVED it!Â
I went on another dive the next day which was 40 feet deep with no swell, great visibility, wonderful coral and fishlife and an attentive instructor. I was hooked for life. As soon as we get home we begin to plan… our families chipped in to get us dive lessons for Christmas, we started buying gear and had our first class at TriState Scuba at the end of January. Three Sundays later we were ready for our open water dives.
In April we followed our instructor Rebecca (and her husband Chris, and our new intstructor Gene, and some other nice folks including my brother) down to Vortex Spring in Florida for 3 mind-numbing days of diving. The first day we did 3 open water dives. The water was a chilly 68 degrees with no thermocline and 40 foot visibility (facts we did not appreciate until more recent quarry dives up here where you’re lucky to see 20 feet and the temp drops into the fifties if you go deeper than a few meters). I was as tired as I ever remember being that first night. I was about ready to cancel some of the next days’ diving, but a good meal and a good sleep refreshed me and on we went. Over 3 days we did 9 dives, which resulted in our attaining Open Water and Advance Open water certification from PADI.
So now we’re divers! We’ve been to Circleville Twin quarries (4 foot visibility and COLD) and Blue Springs quarry (20 foot vis and still COLD) so far up here, and this weekend are heading down to Louisville to visit Falling Rock quarry which, I suspect, will be COLD. I long for the warm waters of Punta Cana and the thin wetsuits it allows, but for now we are DIVERS and we shall DIVE wherever DIVING is allowed!