The boat was loaded, and my heart slowly raced as the captain slowly pulled away from shore. I sat quietly, thinking about how deep we were going to dive; then I remembered my instructor clearly saying, we're going in the shallows, there is no way he'll take beginners into deep water on their first day.
As the boat went along the coastline in Charlotteville, I gazed at the gorgeous scenery and the fishermen passing by in their boats.
As I continued to enjoy the view, my instructor called me to the back of the boat, where our BCD'S and tanks were. "Oh boy," I said to myself, it's getting closer to the time.
He told me it's time to set up up our dive gear, and ensure everything is okay.
As we completed setting up our gear and we got nearer to Pirate's Bay, the water glistened in the sun. It was so beautiful that day, and where we were was very shallow, I was sure I could stand there.
I wasn't that nervous anymore, the shallow waters definitely calmed my nerves.
As I put on my, fins, snorkel and BCD, I got a bit nervous again.
I calmed myself down by looking at how calm my instructor entered the water.
He showed me the sign for okay, and did the roll back method into the water, ensuring that I looked at his hand placement carefully. He then sawm around the other side of the boat, where I was and signaled that I roll back.
I breathed a huge sigh, held my snorkel and regulator in place and rolled back into the water.
As I fell in, the water rolled me over about twice, before I slowly floated up again.
I would be lying if I said it wasn't scary, but when I resurfaced, I felt like I wanted to do it again. LOL
I just knew my diving experience would be filled with alot of mixed feelings; I just knew it based on how it was going thus far.
ANYWAY; my instructor called me over to where he was, which was way shallower than where I currently was. He smiled and then said, "okay, let's do a safety check before going down." I bravely said okay, and listened carefully as he spoke.
We oriented ourself with the shore, checked our regulator and pressure level, and then slowly descended below water.
The first ever skill to work on, was descending slow and steady. You don't want to just fall out of the surface into deep water, because that would definitely put some tension on the air spaces in your body. As I ascended slowly, and part of my goggles was above water and the other part below, I started breathing way faster and I sunk deeper and deeper. Soon I was fully underwater and I became calm again. When I got right to the bottom, below there was so beautiful, so so beautiful, that when my instructor told me to follow him, I totally forgot about swimming. We moved around below there for a while, and I would never forget the first fish species I saw underwater. They were so beautiful, striped with black on their silver background. I didn't know their names at that time, but with research, I found out that it was the 'Atlantic Spade Fish.'
I looked at them in awe, as they sawm by, and my focus completely shifted to the gorgeous marine life. My instructor and I circled around a bit me, allowing me to get accustom to the underwater feeling and then he showed me the signal to go up!
I fumbled with the wrong button on my BCD, instead of looking up and slowly resurfacing while letting air out of my BCD, I literally held down the inflator; which really isn't a great idea!
Once we resurfaced again, my instructor took his regulator out of his mouth and said joyfully, "Yaye, you're first dive, you can tell your friends and family that you have been diving before."
I laughed and gave him a bounce on his hand. Although we were only underwater for about 4 minutes, he was correct, it was a dive!
After talking a bit on the surface, my instructor looked through a paper with the activities we had to do. He chuckled while looking at his PADI card and said, "beginners I've taught, aren't usually that calm their first time underwater, you are doing really great."
I was overjoyed by his words, I knew I got this, and I would ace the course, no problems!
The rest of the day was calm and chill, and this first day was only secluded to shallow water. On the second and third day I would have had to do the more challenging skills and then advance into deeper water. I was obviously very nervous, but I know would I overcome.
First dive day was down, two more to go!!