Sunday February 28th finds Instructor Doug and my current Open Water class students Felipe, Vanessa, Isabel, Drew, Lance and Josefina aboard Scubatyme Charters‘ Scubatyme III heading out to do their final Open Water checkout dives. We have the whole boat to ourselvesToday is the day they prove to me that they can be divers! Captain Dave and Divemaster Amanda make sure everyone’s gear is stowed aboard and I get the students started assembling their gear. We are headed out to the first of our two dive sites, the “Ancient Mariner” and I give everyone a dive briefing along the way. Upon arriving at our site I jump in, followed by the students, and we make a final surface check before heading down to the wreck. Following the ascent line set up by Amanda, we reach the bottom and begin our dive. We tour around the wreck and I point out things for everyone to look at. I notice everyone’s eyes are constantly moving around taking everything in. After our tour of the wreck, one of the students gives me the pre-arranged “end of dive” signal, and we arrive at the ascent line to head up to our safety stop and, finally, the boat.
On the boat we chat about what we saw, my evaluation of their skills so far, switch over our tanks, and talk about our next dive which will be a drift dive along “Lighthouse Ledge”. After our surface interval, I get everyone ready and we jump in. After a quick surface check, we drop down as a group and head for the bottom. I get everyone neutrally buoyant before we reach the reef, and we begin our drift dive checking out all the fish, critters and corals along the way. Everyone did a great job on this dive and, before long, we are heading up to our safety stop and the boat.
Despite the cold wind, everyone had a great time and the dives were all they could talk about. Congratulations to my students on their certification!
I hope to see you all on a dive boat real soon!