After a week of exhausting classroom sessions and pool dives (we were out in the pool from about 6:30 to 11:00 at night!), we were required to do 4 actual ocean dives to get our certification. Although I was especially nervous about the ocean, I decided to continue on, because (with Matt's support) I had come so far and already conquered so many of my fears. The ocean conditions here have been bad lately, and the class that went the week before us didn't get to do their ocean dives last weekend, so they were joining us this weekend. Although we were pretty sure both Saturday and Sunday would be poor conditions again and dives would not take place, that wasn't so. Saturday, conditions were a little rough, but we met at 6:30 in the morning and ended up going out to the location of the day: Kadena North, which is a spot located just a little north of Kadena Marina where we keep our Jet-Skis. Our class got to dive first, and although the entry and exit at this location was pretty rough with waves and rocks, the actual dive portion was exciting and fun! I forgot all about my fears while at the bottom looking at the gorgeous coral and fish. Since it was our first real ocean dive, we only went about 25 feet down and just looked around. The conditions were getting worse, so we were only able to go out once that day. The good news is that we recently received our underwater camera case in the mail and were able to take it on this first dive with us. This wasn't our most interesting dive, and the visibility wasn't the best either (because of the overhead waves), but we were so excited to try it out that we just had to bring it along! Here are a few photos and videos from the day:
Matt under water
A cool photo that Matt took of his bubbles rising to the surface
Me under water
Me telling our instructor how much air I had left
A few video clips:
We ended up going to a new spot (the Sunabe Sea Wall) on Sunday for the final 3 dives, and the conditions were much calmer. This location also had a chain along the ocean floor that you could grab onto and it would help you make your way out to the ledge. The only downside was that we had to wait for the other class while they were diving, and all that exercise was exhausting! We were the first class to dive and the last class to dive for the day, and by the time we were finished, we had been out there for 11 hours (6:30 am - 5:30 pm)! On each dive, we tested on skills that we had learned in the pool as well as went exploring. The last dive was the absolute BEST experience! We were able to bring food out to feed the fish (it was literally a storm of tropical fish surrounding us - SO cool!), and we also dropped down to about 60 feet and explored the gorgeous reef where we saw more amazing fish, clams, sea snakes and what we described as a "field" of colorful coral and plants - we even saw Nemo in his sea anemone:) After all is said and done, I'm glad I got scuba certified, and I'm glad Matt and I got to do it together. I don't care that I had trouble in the beginning, because I know how many issues I was personally able to overcome. I wish our instructor had let us bring the camera on this dive at the Sunabe Sea Wall (we saw SO much more and had better visibility), but I guess there's always next time!