David’s brother and family were planning to fly out in a week to join us for a week touring the BVI’s. We had some time to hang out and enjoy St. John in the mean time. So we decided to look into getting scuba certified. We had wanted to do it for a few years, but I have also spent the last few years pregnant, which meant I couldn’t get certified or even go diving. We found a great shop in Cruz bay that would let us pick up the course work from them, but do it all on our own. We just had to show up for 3 days of diving. The price was just a little more than the research I had done last summer in Boise, but here the price included all the diving costs for certification AND took less time away from the family. If we took the course in Boise, we would have had to attend classroom time and travel to the dive sites with travel expenses. So really getting it done here was probably less money overall AND a much cooler diving experience.
Over the weekend, David and I did our “school work” then on Monday morning we headed over to Caneel Bay to anchor closer to town where we would be able to take the smaller dinghy in to the dive shop. The problem with Caneel Bay is the amount of water traffic. Ferries rush by all day, along with numerous small water craft and larger boats. Needless to say, the wakes roll ALL DAY LONG. I felt bad leaving the kids and Madison there all afternoon. By evening it calms a little which is good. In the morning we went to shore, to get away from the rolly boat. We were able to turn in the kids packets and get their junior ranger badges. We also went to the store to pick up eggs and fresh fruits and veggies.
Diving was great! The first day it was just me and David and our instructor, Austin. We took our tests from our book work, then headed off on the dive boat. We spent time in the water learning all the skills we needed to certify. When we first descended under the water the mask I had just leaked and leaked and I struggled with the breathing. Austin signaled to go back up, but I couldn’t figure out how. He just grabbed me and up we went. On the surface he said—you just kick to go up, and I thought—DUH! We switched out masks and back down we went. I was still freaked out by the whole event – breathing under water, looking up at the top of the water, watching fish swim by us,… the whole thing was so surreal. I had to focus on what Austin was communicating to us and wanted us to do, because--- there is no talking under water, of course that was hard for me. We did 2 different dive sites and ran thru all the skills. It was a good day.
The next day we only had a handful of skills to review and plenty of time to scuba. It was so much fun. I only had a short freak out moment on the first descent, and then no problems. We practiced more equalization since we were going deeper than the day before. We saw some fish we’d not seen before, a nurse shark sleeping, and a leopard flat worm.
By day 3, we were feeling very comfortable in the water. Our last dive site of the day was very cool. We swam thru some cool little canyons of reef and saw things we hadn’t see before. The colors were awesome. Beautiful sponges and corals. We saw a stingray buried in the sand, and I found another nurse shark sleeping under a rock. We saw a lobster, an eel, and lots of other neat things. Then it was time to pass of our final skills. We are excited to continue on in this new hobby. David enjoyed diving more than he does snorkeling. Wahoo…. finally certified!