Open Water Certification Dives

Pearl Lake: South Beliot, IL – May 2019


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Excitement, fear, excitement, hope (that I remember everything). One main fear I have is not being able to see. Not being able to see the bottom, not being able to see something approaching me, not being able to see something touching me. 

There was a poster that I saw when I was teaching and it gave me that adrenaline stomach flip just from looking at it. It encapsulates my fear of not being able to see!

With that in mind, we surface swam out to a dive flag that marked the training platform we were diving to. I’m next to Zach, my mask is on, and I look down… then immediately look of with a look of panic in my eyes, enough that zach sees me and asks if I’m ok.  I pull it together, stop looking down, and take some deep breaths.

Thankfully there was a line connected to the dive flag that we descended along. We made it down to the platform. We start going through, one by one, practicing the skills we need to know. Things like mask removal, removing and replacing regulators etc. Somewhere in the skills we were practicing, I look over and see Zach with what seems like a free flowing regulator. Picture all the air from the tank coming out of the regulator at once. He moves to his octopus which then also starts to free flow. I froze. I regret not grabbing him and giving him my octo. He does an emergency ascent and we all ascend as well. (Find out more from his perspective in a future blog post.) It turned out the temperature of the water (very cold!) affected his regulator and caused it to free flow. He got a one of the extra regulators attached to his gear and eventually joined back in to practice skills.

My dive notes are slim for the four dives we did that day. I have written for the first dive, “There were fish I didn’t see any.” It was a lot of information and skills to process. Plus it was COLD! We took warm water in thermal mugs to make tea and have something warm to drink in between dives. The first three dives were all different skills that were required to complete so the dive masters could sign off on our certifications. The fourth dive was supposed to be ours to plan, “plan the dive and dive the plan” is the phrase used a lot. However everyone was cold and a storm was rolling in so it was short.

At the end of two days of dives we were certified! 

~Wife Buddy