My Diving Class!

By Elizabeth

First day! 

Today was my first day of the dive class. Mom came with me. We got our gear and dinghied to the dock. When we got to the shop, we were too early, so we read one of Belinda's fish books and did reviews on what we learned in the e-book. Soon she came and we started talking about what we would do. Belinda also had us act what she had explained. We had to be precise which was kind of hard because she is one of those loud, energetic people (like dad: going, going, going!). Mom and I took a quiz and got a 100%!

Once done with the basics, we moved on to the tanks! ! Belinda had us put the BC on and off 3 times! And after my third time, I kind of got used to it. Her helper carted the tanks of to the boat. After a short briefing on the dive computer, we FINALLY got on the boat!

When we got to the 'classroom', Belinda hopped into the shallow water to help. I then slipped in and she helped me put on my gear. Mom came next. We did regulator recovery, mask clearing, and 'out of air' plays. After that we went to the shore and ate the snacks they set up. There was grapefruit, muffins, water, cookies, and Pringles (of all things that you would eat in the Solomons!).

And my favorite part of the day was the free time on the reef. We saw Titan trigger fish, nemo fish, and a HUGE map pufferfish that looked asleep on the bottom! Wow, what a day! And tomorrow will be a whole day of practice!
 Can't wait!

Second day! 

Today dad went and dropped me on the dock so I could go to Belinda's place for the next class. Fredriko was there when I got there and he didn't have his certificate for diving printed, so by the time they were finished, 20-30 min its of today's exercises were gone! (Funny thing Fredriko did: there are two stacks of paper work: completed and uncompleted. Junior (one of the managers) gave Fredriko one of the completed ones by accident, but instead of it being hand written, it was typed and then printed. He started crossing out what the someone had typed and wrote his answered above. Belinda caught him in time though, and as calmly as she could, told him it had already been completed by someone. Poor Fredriko stammered in his embracement, 'I thought that was just examples!'). We soon got on the boat and headed off to Lola.

We did a review from last lesson and then started training. We did BC removal and replacement on the surface and under. Also we swam without our masks for 9 meters, floated without mask, fins (not flippers), and BC.

After 3 solid hours of training, we finally got out of the water and showered off, ate a snack, and waited for the boat. As we waited, Kopi (the copper colored dog) came and cuddled. Belinda got a photo and soon the boat arrived.

Since it took awhile, I did my test and got 92%!

Belinda and I relaxing in dive boat

Third day! 

Today we did our last day of training with mom.  Since we didn't do 2 dives yesterday, we did 3 dives today. The first one was the shark point, which was where we did more skills. Then we took a really nice dive around and saw tons of colorful corals and fish. Some of the fish were ones we had never seen before, like the Midnight Snapper.

The second dive was my last certificate dive. Belinda said it was special because it was a wreck dive! My first! When we back-rolled into the water it felt like you were descending into an abyss. 'Were we going to ever reach the bottom?' I wonder, but then my question was answered.

A wing extended from the darkness. The bomber! When my fin touched the bottom it was exactly 12.1 meters! Just past my limit. We went to explore the wreck and Belinda showed me the pipefish that were mixed in with the algae on the wings and the striped shrimp near the captains chair. There were at leasts six divers down by the wreck. One of the other divers almost kicked Belinda in the face and on her tank. Four people were trying to get a good view down in to the cockpit at the same time! It was a little bit crowded.  After our decompression stop, we got back in the dive boat and sped through two squalls.

When we reached the dock we disassembled our gear and ate fish and chips. (With a small salad.). Soon we were out again with the guests from Lola. The boat driver let us roll off with our gear on, but for the first time I was a little bit nervous because there was thunder! Once we dove down to 11 meters and had a blast! After we were down for maybe 20 minutes, we came up to practice deploying our safety sausages and for me to take off and replace my BC on the surface.   She suddenly called, “Well done, girly! You are now a certified junior open water diver!”

My teacher and I after I passed the Open Water Diving class!


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