i am now scuba certified! yay!

the weekend was great – the weather cooperated and it didn’t rain until we started home – which my suv needed after driving on all those dusty roads. dust was pooling everywhere and there was a seriously visible dust cloud anytime a door was opened or closed.

we were probably overpacked for the whole affair. where we were tenting we were pampered with washroom and shower facilities and a large mess hall with 90 second dishwasher, and satellite TV. apparently there was even wireless Internet there.

I find as you get older – your needs for a proper bed really elevate. at first sleeping in a sleeping bag on the tent floor was good enough. now it seems like the air mattress is really pushing my limits of comfort. I am damn sore today. bratwurst on an open fire still kicks ramen noodles’ ass day though.

our dives on Saturday at heritage lake were kind of crappy – it was so silty to begin with – then you drop in 20 students bouncing off the bottom and kicking frantically – we’ll just say visibility was like that of diving in coffee. our instructor was wearing all black except for pink and white fins – it was really eery to see two fins kicking in front of me seemingly without being attached to anything or anyone.

the water was indeed cold – 53 degrees fahrenheit..but bundled up in heavy wetsuits with gloves and hoods mostly only your lips got cold..and the occasional shiver came when you first got wet and slivers of water would slide down your back.

our dive on sunday at whiteswan lake was really good. whiteswan is quite weird for a Saskatchewan lake in that it’s mostly sandy (not thick mud bottom and lined with duck shit like most lakes) – and the water is a weird blue-green with high visibility. they took 24 divers and instructors out on a huge pontoon boat and we got going!

the dive site itself was good – a descent line was in place so you could take your time descending/ascending little by little. upon descent we were greeted with a sign stuck at the bottom of the lake that read – "Welcome to White Swan Lake!"..several large objects are sunk in the lake and we visited them – a boat with a sign reading "Skinny Dipping Prohibited" – an airplane, and a few vehicles. we got to around 45 feet deep during the dive and practiced our skills as well.

about 25 minutes into the dive we heard a loud bang in the water. The boat operators had fired a seal scare into the water – we were all being called back to the boat for some reason. All the divers surfaced quickly and orderly and found out one of the ladies had almost drowned. It didn’t sound like anybody had any details – but many could guess at the reasons. her husband was already an advanced diver with a lot of experience and gear. So possibly she was nervous, and maybe didn’t even enjoy diving at all, and was taking the course for her husband’s sake. Probably the most important thing to keeping scuba diving safe and enjoyable is to stay calm, and if you don’t have that, well hey, you’re 45 feet deep in something you weren’t mean to breath in.

our instructors are all well trained in emergency response (one is an RN) so there was really quick response and her condition seemed to be improving as she was loaded in a van to meet the ambulance on the way to PA.

after that got sorted out – we got loaded up and got our pictures taken for our C-Cards (required to rent air tanks when you dive). it was a good feeling! this is a hobby I think we will enjoy if we keep at it.

ah, so now i’m caught up. back to pretending to work!

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