Just got home today after a few days away on holiday. Went out to NYC and the Cayman Islands to visit Gbemi and Biscuit. More on that later…
What I wanted to talk about here is the super cool time I had scuba diving in the Caymans.
I spent two days at Eden Rock Dive Center in George Town doing all of my PADI qualification dives and training. It was hard work that lasted for the good portion of the days, but definitely an amazing experience. The Caymans have some beautiful reef and fish. Diving is so awesome and my instructor, Natasha the Kiwi, was very knowledgeable and friendly.
I would recommend that if anyone is interested in doing an open water certification course in diving to do it the way that I went about it. PADI has an excellent online training course that you pay $100 to do. This basically takes you through all of the coursework at your own pace and you even take your quizzes on the system. Once you complete the lessons you get a PDF to take to the dive center where you will only need to do a quick 15 question review test and then you just do the dives. Saved me 2 days of sitting in a classroom on my holiday and it was actually pretty fun to do online – took me at least 7 hours in total to complete. The open water referral dives cost another $400.
I was certified in diving before (about 10 years ago) but didn’t feel comfortable in remembering anything which is why I chose to do the qualification again. I had tried last December in Egypt to do a refresher course, but ended up having a panic attack under the water and freaking out. I was quite worried about experiencing this again, but at the same time really wanted to tackle my fear. Everything turned out ok for me. The first time I went down I had a slight panic and ended up going to surface, but my instructor talked to me at surface for a minute and then we went back down and just sat and looked at the fish while I caught my breath. After that I had a few small pangs of panic, but they went away – thankfully.
The rest of the certification was pretty much a breeze. A lot of mask clearing and other tasks. The skills are easy, but I can see how some people might freak out on taking your mask out. It is a strange sensation to know you are under water, breathing, but you can’t see and all of a sudden your nose is exposed. I suppose I lucked out by being the only person doing the certification which meant I had the instructor all to myself and we got through everything quickly.
I can think of nothing cooler and more relaxing to do with a holiday than diving. It is like being in another universe with a bunch of alien creatures swimming around in their little cities. And everything is in slow motion. You are floating around weightless. And all you really have to do is remember to breathe. Simple and fun! I can’t wait to go out again and now want to try some more advanced courses.