I kayak and I jet ski. I swim. But I have resisted Scuba for many years even though my husband certified in 1991 in Okinawa. Then my son in 2005, when he was 15. And of course my daughter has her underwater crime scene investigations certification.
Two reasons I didn't do Scuba. First, I'm not big on closed-in places, and being underwater qualifies. Secondly, I don't breath that great. Back when you had to blow the water out of your snorkel after coming back up, I couldn't do it. I had to pull it out of my mouth and drain it. So I figured I would probably not be able to clear my mask.
Jessica (the UCSI) and I were talking over book ideas and started planning one about a female UCSI. We wrote a little of it, and she wrote the underwater scenes. Then in October 2014 I was at a beach that is probably the most popular dive site around here because there is a man-made reef, and jetties with a lot of different kinds of fish. There was a very young looking instructor getting into a van that said something about scuba on the side. I mentioned to him that I had never tried scuba for the reasons I mentioned above. He said he could get me through it.
I started thinking about it, but I couldn't remember what the van had said and didn't have contact information for him. But I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I went online looking for any local place that offered a short intro class. I signed myself, Jasmine and Kaleb up for a two hour class that was for anyone 8 years old and up. (It turned out to be the place where the guy I'd talked to worked.)
I figured if an eight year old could do it, I could too. I wasn't sure about Jasmine because she has lots of fears. I figured Kaleb would do fine.
The day of the class came (May 2). Well, Kaleb didn't do fine. Every time we'd submerge, he'd give the sign for up. Very frustrating. But Jasmine did great. And I cleared my mask with no problem. Since I had the regulator in my mouth while clearing my mask, I had plenty of air. In this class, you don't go deeper than six feet, and with Kaleb, we barely made that. He just wasn't ready. The weight of the tank took him down, and he panicked every time.
He later retried the class, and Kayla tried it this time too. He panicked again every time the weight of the tank took him down. (They don't let them adjust their own BCD in this class and since it's only 6 feet at the deepest, they don't really use it). Kayla loved it, but she is afraid of deep water. So they are going to wait a year and try again.
Jasmine and I decided to go ahead and certify. So we started classes. We met a pool to learn all the basic skills first. Some of the skills took us out of our comfort zones, but we passed them all.
Unfortunately, Jasmine's ears don't clear right. She can't go very deep. She's been to a specialist and had an CT, but there's no easy solution. It may be because she was a cleft palate baby. She is going to have to figure a way to equalize that works for her. But right now she has too much pain in her ears. We are going to keep working with it.
I still don't like closed in places, but I've only done dives at one location, and the water is pretty clear. Lots of visibility. So even though I went down to 60 feet, it didn't feel like it. If I was in murky water, it might be a different story.
I have done a couple of extra dives with our instructor (which cost way too much) to get more experience and because I don't have an experienced dive partner right now. Jessica is pregnant so can't dive. She is going to have her baby this coming week, so we will probably dive in the springs in a couple of months. They are shallow enough that Jasmine may be able to dive with us.
Tyler hadn't dove since 2005, but I wanted him to dive with me and the instructor, so he got a quick refresher course on the regulator and clearing the mask, and then we dove on the far side of the reef down to 45+ feet.
So that was my adventure for 2015. In 2016 I want to get my advanced certification. Or maybe my motorcycle license. I would say there's no way I could do that, but I thought the same about Scuba last year.
What new did you do in 2015? What do you plan to do in 2016?