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What are you talking about? That water is BELOW freezing!
December 9th, 2009 by Tessa
Dad and I diving "Rico's Wall" at about 12 meters - check out my awesome 5mil wetsuit - I was STILL FREEZING!

Dad and I diving "Rico's Wall" at about 12 meters - check out my awesome 5mil wetsuit - I was STILL FREEZING!

I was in debate on whether I should write about my scuba diving adventures or not- because, frankly, scuba diving doesn’t make for the most entertaining subject. But due to lack of ANYTHING ELSE super funny happening in the last couple of weeks, (besides the fork episode, of which I will post next) I will proceed to inform (and hopefully mildly entertain) you on the vast array of scuba diving equipment.

To start off, they give you a book. In the 3 hours I had before I went to bed, I had to read 175 pages of- not exactly the funniest book I’ve read (but the dive instructor did complement me on my artistic talent that I displayed on the margins- he also commented on my notes arguing with the ways they explained the laws of gravity and my notes saying that liquids, could indeed be solidified under extremely high pressures that caused them to compress. He responded by saying we were not going anywhere that was near absolute zero, so I would have no need to worry.). I then went back to the dive center and watched 3 hours of factual “how to take off your mask” videos that were periodically interrupted by a tourist on the screen (obviously an ignorant American ^_~) doing all of the WRONG things.

In the afternoon I was told to do 200m of straight laps and then tread water for 10 minutes. After passing both of those, they tossed the mass of equipment into the pool and had me demonstrate the skills I had learned on the tape/reading the book.

Finally on the second day we (my dad the instructor and I) headed out to the REAL Ocean. The sea churned the in the same way someone would imagine a witches pot to. The gray sky started to drizzle, and everyone moved to the back of the boat to avoid the spray of the waves that lashed out like arms over the front of the boat. Everyone suited up in there 3 millimeter wetsuits, and I got into my 5millimeter. My dad informed me on more then one occasion that 5millimeters weren’t for tropical oceans, they were for places like; quote: “I don’t know CANADA?” I told him that if I was ever going to go diving in Canada, I would have a custom made arctic dry suit. The dive instructor thought that was really funny. He also laughed at my habit of eating butter right out of the container or having butter, a can of tuna and a bushel of leechee nuts as my lunch everyday.

On the dive trip (once I got used to how COLD the water was) we practiced dive routines like filling up my mask and clearing it, The CESA, and calculating how long we could stay underwater without freezing too much nitrogen in our blood so that when we go up to the surface it doesn’t boil in our veins (charming- isn’t it?). We didn’t see much because we were practicing our emergency routines.

The next day, we had to get our equipment read ourselves. So I got all of my stuff (fins, goggles, snorkel, BCD, butter, leechees, wetsuit, etc.) and put it on the boat. If yesterday the witch was churning the ocean, today she was whirling it with a mad passion, laughing hysterically at the poor little people on boats. The sea frothed and I suddenly felt bad for the people who had to stay on the boat while we dived… And for the 20 people sitting on, what looked like a small bamboo raft that was being paddled out to the sea. Well… that was Vietnam for you.

The visibility was horrible that day, and my dad says we passed by him quite a few times before we actually SAW him. Never the less, the ocean was very beautiful (and cold, but also beautiful). Plus, we weren’t actually scuba diving for pleasure; we were more scuba diving to get me certified so that in better places (in BETTER weather) I could go scuba diving with my dad- which is exactly what we did in the Philippines.

A coral head in the Philippines - check out all the zillions of little tropical fish in the background!

A coral head in the Philippines - check out all the zillions of little tropical fish in the background!

"I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine!"  (a sea slug really, but isn't he cute!)

"I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine!" (a sea slug really, but isn't he cute!)

The Philippines was wonderful! The sea was clear- the locals had a fishing law so the reefs were protected! Boulders of brain coral anchored themselves to the sandy plains. Fields of anemone like animals thrived over table coral and colorful fish meander across the sun like swift silver clouds. It was almost as wonderful as hanging up silk curtains of every color all right next to each other, and then standing right behind them while the wind picked them up and swirled them around you.

There were this many fish (sometimes more!) everywhere you swam.  The colors were insane!

There were this many fish (sometimes more!) everywhere you swam. The colors were insane!

At some points I just wanted to lay down in the water at the bottom of ocean, feeling weightless and fall asleep, but I knew that that was one of the signs of multiple illnesses related to diving, and that everyone would freak out if I just stopped moving. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the Philippines hanging out on the boat and laying in the sun. It was a good day.

A Frog Fish.  These apparently are really rare.

A Frog Fish. These apparently are really rare.

This was eely eely cool

This was eely eely cool

Lion fish:  Pretty and DEADLY (dun dun dun...)

Lion fish: Pretty and DEADLY (dun dun dun...)

A good day on the water!

A good day on the water!


3 Responses  
Theresa Sanchez writes:
December 14th, 2009 at 9:18 am

What another great adventure! Love all of the photos! Where will you be diving at next?

Anita (Nana) writes:
January 5th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

First, I wish you a very happy–Birthday.
You bring back memories of Nana and Pappy’s diving on our adventure in/ on Grand Cayman, Island, years back. Now we will have to watch, the VCR tape, together and have a laughing time. I assure you.

I think when Nana has all the New Year dessert and chocolates eaten up, it will be “Bit-o-Honey” feast for Valentine treats. But not 300 pieces!

Maggot tea, I’ll pass on that refreshment sample.

Did the tooth fairy give you a visit that night?

I can picture Uncle Doug and Paru with you enjoying the –cool pointy hat. As Nana looked back, in the wonderful Hawaii book, from all of my family and your mom’s photo shot’s and time spent on the album.

While out walking Shugorei at lunch time today, Papa and Bobo gave me a quick visit, since they were leaving their street in his suburban. Yeah, Bo said “you had a nice visit and talk yesterday.” So hope to hear soon about your visitor, birthday celebration and travels the past days.

Enjoying all your writtings. Thanx, love to all.

jack Gape writes:
January 17th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

You seriously jumped 12,000 feet from a plane?

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