Learning how to dive

I just finished my PADI open water certification in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I also did my very first dive post training off Cozumel. Couple observations:

  • I have more trouble equalizing than others. The people I dove with were able to zip right down to the bottom. I had to take my time and go slowly or else it was really painful. Swallowing seems to help more than pinching my nose and blowing. But swallowing is also hard with a regulator in your mouth and a dry throat.

  • My trim was off and I need more practice. If I go flat, I’ll start to lean feet first and then end up having to correct. This would happen over and over which was a little frustrating. To stop myself from dipping and touching anything, I ended up swimming at a healthy distance from the floor. The experienced divers I saw were silky smooth in the water. They weren’t spending a lot of energy with their feet. Some of them also frog kick which I tried to emulate but wasn’t able to.

  • It is a whole another world down there. There are the rural patches of sand where you see some lone life hanging out. Then there are the hustling and bustling cities of reef where schools upon schools of fish were swimming through. Seeing a mature turtle and a nurse shark were the highlights of my trip. They were huge!

  • Diving off PDC and diving off Cozumel is like night and day. Cozumel has a much more active, livelier reef. The coral is more colorful. The visibility is way better and there’s a gorgeous aqua tint where ever you go. Also, Cozumel has a current so it’s little bit like taking a ride. You don’t have to spend too much energy. The current was pretty strong and if I went against it, I’d have to kick very hard just to stay in place.

  • There was a wall we passed over in Cozumel. Looking down off of it and seeing the beginning of a dark abyss was spooky and thrilling at the same time.

Overall I had an awesome time. If Soren, Alejandra, Christian, Gustavo, or Patrick are reading - thanks so much for bringing me into the world of diving. If you’re out in Playa Del Carmen, check out their shop. It’s called Diversity Diving and they’re super awesome.

Cross posted on r/scuba

Written on April 5, 2018