Is anyone else watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel? No? Well, maybe that’s a good thing. These things are scary. Doubly so when one is planning has a trip to Belize planned.
We did our first ocean dive today. It looked remarkably like Ursula’s home in The Little Mermaid. You know that part when Ariel is going to give up her voice and all those poor unfortunate souls are begging for her help? Yeah, that’s what the kelp looked like. I kept expecting a big bosomed octopus to sidle up to me, squishing lipstick out of a clam. (That one’s for you, Ashley!)
Too many The Little Mermaid references? Okay, I’ll stop.
But yes, it was murky and dark and the visibility (or vis, as we in the know say – ha) was pretty awful. But (and this is very important), I didn’t freak out. I’m not going to lie, I really did think that I would have a slight panic attack while under water and have to resurface and never want to go back under. I did have a moment where I couldn’t clear my mask and I did have to resurface, but instead of freaking out and refusing to go back under, I sucked it up and dove again.
Apparently there was a lobster that our instructor saw, but we missed it. I was too busy holding on to the rope, keeping my eyes on our instructor, and equalizing every chance I got. My ears, they do not cooperate with the equalizing business.
We saw some garbage, but mostly kicked up a lot of bottom stuff so we didn’t see much.
But the most important thing is that I survived my first beach dive. As I’ve said before, the waves here are pretty intense and we had to make our way through those before we could actually get to the diving part. But I made it without too much of a scene. I drank more saltwater than I’d like to admit, but I didn’t drown.
And after we did that we took our final test. The test that decides if we’re suitable to be certified or not. I only missed one. All through college I took essay tests. Tests where whatever answer you choose is correct, just as long as you can support it. And every question I answered incorrectly throughout this course, I could argue in my favor. If it were an essay test. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
So mostly we’re done. Except for our final dive next week. On my birthday. Yes, I will be spending my 26th birthday on a boat with a group of semi-strangers. And I will force them to celebrate because it’s my birthday. I may bribe them with cupcakes and cookies.