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Scuba Dooby Doo.

January 5, 2011

The Great Barrier Reef. One of the 7 modern wonders of the world. The largest living thing on the planet. Let’s go dive it, shall we!?

H2O Sportz. (that is the exact spelling, I haven’t gone ghetto traveler on you) Instructors Dave (Aussie) and Chris (Toronto). Full day tour to the reef, two dives. Booked, ready and amped. ($692 per couple)

730am. Pool training. Nikki gets a little chilly, little did we both know, the ocean would be warmer. Quick refresher course. Onto the boat and out to the Reef. 2 hours West. Skipper anchors the boat. Colorful fish are already at the stern. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

This is a good day. Sunny. The seas have medium swells. The divers are restless. Into the drink people. Let’s Scuba!

We go down a rope weighted with lead on the side of the boat. Nice and slow. A meter every few seconds. Nikki gets her ear equilibrium right, and we are off. The visibility is about 15 meters. The temperature about 28 degrees Celsius. Even 2 degrees warmer than the air! The water has a beautiful blue tint to it. We go about 12 meters deep. You can’t see the surface. This is a very humbling feeling.

The coral is alive. If you go slow and look close, you see hundreds of fish of all sizes and colors. If you look closer, you see pieces of the reef alive and doing their role. We explore. Just Nikki and I with Instructor Dave.

We have done all of our PADI course and pool work in Columbus. This is now part of our 4 series open water check out dive and certification process. After some tooling around, we find a sandy bottom spot. Settle in and now it is time to pass some tests. She takes off her mask completely, it fills with water, she replaces it, blows out all the water and clears the mask chamber. Good to go! Next test. At 40 feet deep, Nikki takes out her breathing regulator from her mouth, tosses it over her shoulder and grabs my emergency regulator to breathe, we ascend together towards the surface. She passes with flying colors. Talk about trust and confidence. You are deeper than either of us have ever been, in the middle of the ocean and removing your life saving breathing apparatus. Pretty cool.

Back to the coral of the reef. We see angel fish, blue fins and our instructor hands us coral and rock that is actually alive. It is so heavy, the extra weight makes you sink. He points out the poisonous creatures to avoid. Time flies. The air in our tanks has gone from 220 bars down to 50 bars. Time to head to the surface. Slowly ascend. High fives at the surface. Another dive to go in the Great Barrier Reef!

If you haven’t had the chance to scuba dive, you should consider trying it at your next vacation. If you have any questions about the process, email me. Once the underwater camera film is developed I will post some of the fish and reef areas we captured. Cheers!

Fun Facts

To figure out the difference between degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit. Go and Google it you lazy punks. Because I still can’t figure it out and math sucks when you are on holiday.

Quotes of the Day

“that mate just lost his mask!” –other diver

– as I was getting out of the ocean onto the boat, so self-consumed with what we had just seen and accomplished, my mask (all the way from Columbus, OH) fell over 40 feet to the ocean bottom and my instructor had to go get it

 -for those that know, the Sharp 30% rule is in effect even when stranded at sea 🙂

-“you and your mask suck, mate”-my instructor states upon mask retrieval efforts

My Shark Story

There was this young girl on the boat. But she refused to go into the water for fear of sharks. Nikki and I were on the stern of the boat with all our gear on, ready for our next dive. And after some coaxing, I had her convinced there were no sharks. She went to get her snorkel gear and stinger suit on. Upon return to the boats edge, an experienced diver sprang from the water surface and screamed in excitement “WE SAW A SHARK!” The girls face became petrified, turned white and slowly she back stepped from the water while staring in pure fear at the diver. I said, “NO, you didn’t, you did not see a shark.” The diver responded “yes… yes I did, 3 meters in length, a white tip reef shark right over there.” To top it all off, the diver swam up to the ladder with a digital picture of the shark on her camera for everyone, including the girl to see. The girl did not go into the water.

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