Today we started the morning early and went diving at Dairy Bull around 7am. The water was quite rough; the waves were strong and getting our gear on in the water under these conditions was difficult to say the least. I am very thankful that both my professors are very experienced scuba divers and were able to help me whenever I needed it during my dives. During this dive in Dairy Bull, which was not one of our deeper dives, we only descended to around 30-34 feet. The corals, sponges, and fishes were so colorful and tempting for me to touch. Since we were tested on the identifications of most of the organisms in these waters it was fun to point them out and know what they were. My favorite was seeing a lionfish go after a smaller fish, and to my surprise lionfish are a lot smaller then I was expecting them to be. Since the winds were high, we were experiencing strong waves that were even pushing us around when were on the bottom. Which was a bit worrisome when the current can easily push you into diademas (long-spined sea urchins) nearby.
Around half-way through our dive I began to ascend when I wasn’t trying to. I started to wave for help and three of my friends (Nancy, Ashley, ad Jason) all pulled me back down repeatedly. The issue I now realized I was having was that I wasn’t vertical enough to get the air out of my BC, and I had put too much air when trying to find my neutral buoyancy. The good part was that I had the best dive buddy, my friend Nancy who stayed by my side the whole time and ascended with me and helped me get the air out of my BC. It didn’t help that the waves brought up a lot of sediment under the water, so the visibility wasn’t great. Once we got back to the boat the hard part was getting in the boat when the waves are pushing you all around and you’re wearing weights and a heavy tank. Nevertheless, we both got on board safely and not soon after we started to see the rest of our class swimming toward the boat.
It was quite the experience and one that I probably would have panicked more about if I had not had my dive buddy, Nancy. So big shout out to her for not only finding my snorkel when a wave knocked it off my mask, pulling me back down to the floor when I started ascending, but most importantly never leaving my side. I would always want her to dive with whenever I go diving again; with that said, can’t wait to see what happens or what we see on our next dive. 😀