Dives 10 and 11
Nick and I did another two dives toward our Advanced Diver certification today. The boat ride today was much better. The ocean was more rough today than yesterday so Sylvan took us to Hol Chan, back inside the calm reef. Jason (the guy from yesterday) came along with us to finish up his final open water diving coarse.
First we did our navigation dive. We snorkeled a straight line above the surface before getting our dive gear on and doing the same under the water. Then we navigated a giant square. Nick did great. I did well until the last turn when I started to veer in the wrong direction. I was really confused and disoriented, and my mask kept filling with water which didn’t help the situation at all. My eyes were burning from the salt water and I could feel tears dripping into shallow pools at the bottom of my mask. Sylvin had me do a smaller version of the square and that time I aced it.
We stopped for a short surface interval on the boat before doing our second dive, fish identification. This dive was fun and easy. Nick had a fish guide book that he carried along to look up fish with. If we didn’t know what fish were we would point to them and Sylvin would write their names down on his slate. Likewise, if he found a fish or other marine life of interest he would point at it and write it down for us. We ID’d many types of fish; parrot, damsel, flounder (which are neat because they swim on their side and their eyes are on the same side of their head), snapper, grunts, tangs, etc. We also saw a 7′ long barracuda. It was so big the gentleman who manned the boat could see it from above water. There was a giant green eel, big and fat. We also passed a group of spotted eagle rays. They swam with us for a little while. The other rays, the flat headed kind, I don’t remember what they are called, would park themselves on the ocean floor, then wiggle their wings (fins) around and partially bury themselves. On our way back to the boat we saw another nurse shark. Jason had done his final skills on the dive, and I am kind of jealous that this was his experience for his checkout dives. All we got were a tiny sunken boat, mossy trees, poor visibility and ice cold water.
Our last dive will be a multilevel dive. We’ll be starting out at 100′ and from there ascending to 70′. I assume it will be a lot like our deep dive, which was basically the same set up. We have already planned the dive and worked out what our pressure groups will be, so I don’t think there will be any skills on the actual dive, just a good ol’ time diving with Sylvin as our guide!! It’s tentatively scheduled for Thursday morning, so hopefully the wind will die down so it’s not so miserable in the boat.