Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Diving In

Tuesday we were scheduled to go diving. We arrived at the Puerto Dive Center at 9:00 and, along with several people from Holland and Germany, were suited up with the appropriate gear. Angela and I brought our own snorkeling gear... mask, snorkle and fins. I was glad of this because there seemed to be some trouble finding the right sizes and such for all the others. I was a little leery that my wet suit had several holes in it. I wasn't worried about that actual holes in the wet suit but that it might indicate that things could be wrong with the other equipment... you know, those things important for breathing and other life enchancing functions.... that I couldn't see. It's like when we look at houses to buy back at home... if you see peeling wall paper and crumbling stairs you know you can fix those but what is behind the walls that you CAN'T see? The skies were turning ominously more grey and I was nervous. We boarded the boat.... 5 divers, a handful of snorkelers, a few passengers, two or three dive masters, a cooler with drinks and snacks, and off we went. The seas were really rough. It didn't take long before we were anchored near some rocky cliffs. We were told that the visibility was low due to the turbulent waters, previously rainy weather and dark skies. I announced that Angela and I were only recently certified and that it was our first dive after our open water certification in the Arkansas lake. Two of the other divers, from Holland, were delighted with this and promised to help take good care of us. Both were diving instructors in Holland. The Mexican dive masters also assured us that he would be watching us closely. As we sat anchored, however, the seas grew more and more rough.
The skies got darker. I, as well as most of the others, were very nauseous. I needed off the boat. I was not only feeling nauseous but also a vague sense of panic was creeping in. Nausea does that to me sometimes. So we each took our turn sitting on the edge of the boat and tumbling backwards into the dark sea. Once I was in the water I began to feel somewhat better. Angela and I grouped up with one of the dive masters and began our descent. Unfortunately, we did not descent far. You see, when you dive you need to be weighted down. I knew from before we got on the boat that I didn't have enough weight. The more fat you have the more buoyant you are. In the fresh water lake it took 19 pounds to sufficiently sink me and the salt water should have required more. They only gave me 12 pounds. I had tried to tell them it wouldn't be enough but the slender young man argued that they would take more out on the boat just in case. I looked up, after I had sunk down about 6 or 8 feet and saw (barely because the visibility was so poor) that Angela was having even more problems that I was descending. I went back up and swam over to the boat. By now the waves were rougher and I managed to get a large mouthful of salt water. Another woman, an experiened diver, had already come back to the boat and said that she wasn't going to dive today. She said that she couldn't even see the man she was supposed to be following, much less any fish and that she didn't feel comfortable in that situation. I, by then, had decided pretty much the same thing. You dive to see what's under the water and you couldn't see a damn thing. The dive masters tried to convince us to try anyway but I knew that I would need more weight, which would be put on me one at a time while I was in the tossing waves. I was done. I removed my equipment one and clamoured back onto the boat. By then all the girls who had planned to snorkel or just relax in the sun were looking a little green. Some were leaning over the edge holding their mouths. After about ten minutes, the Holland diver men came up and said they couldn't see a damn thing either. We were relieved as the boat turned to head for home. Everyone did their own thing to ease the sea sickness.... some sipped cokes from the cooler, Angela kept her head down on the rail and her eyes closed, I stood in the middle of the boat and held onto the roof using my legs like shock absorbers. Soon we saw 3 or 4 dolphins jumping ahead of us. I was told that I could climb onto the front of the boat to watch if I was careful. I eagerly climbed onto the front and held onto the railing. The boat moved quickly and the wet air was refreshing. The pineapple nutrigrain bar I was holding became drnched with salt water. When we arrived back to land we jumped off the boat with our gear on our back and waded ashore. I was relieved to not feel queasy anymore. Unfortunately, we were still charged the full 1,250 pesos for our trip. The Hollanders (Hollandites?) refused to pay and when we left they were still arguing with Sofia, the manager. They said that in all other places in the world they have dove this type of dive would only have cost the amount to refill the tanks. I did't bother to argue, although I did agree. I was just glad to be back on land. I went to have some nice beach girls braid my hair then had lunch with my Amigas.

1 comment:

  1. Our NEXT dive experience will hopefully be a little smoother on the stomach!!!! It the dive wasn't a bust I might not have experienced the hair braiding though......