day five: the dive (la paz) at los islotes

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This morning was filled with anticipation. Today we would be going diving. If you have read previous posts of mine regarding this you know that the idea of diving carries a certain amount of anxiety with it. Fear is one of the reasons that I got certified in the first place. My hope was that some day I might not be so afraid, but we don't get to do it enough to erase that and so each time is always a little scary. This time was no exception.

But the site we were going to was extra special, a colony of sea lions that would swim and play around you. And the group of divers was small which helps take the pressure off because diving is always a bit of a group event sometimes leaving a less experienced diver feeling inadequate.

like me.

Although this would be around my eighteenth dive, that is like infancy in scuba years and so I still struggle with some of my basic skills.

like breathing.

But really it is always like another test due to the time span between the last one. Our dive master was very patient as I paused when he told me to jump off the boat...

"no ladder'?

"Haven't you jumped before?" He asked me.

Of course I had but it had been a while. And for some reason I was the first one off the boat this time (which was really freaking me out) instead of someone going before me so I could at least watch...

so I bucked up, grabbed hold of my regulator and jumped.

(I am freaking out right now just typing this)

I know that any dive master worth his salt probably wouldn't let me dive if they knew how nervous I got before a dive. Determination tends to be the tool of the day to go from step to step...Getting in the water, then releasing the air from your bcd making you sink... feeling the slight drag as you breath in from the air tank(its harder than breathing normally), and then regulating your bouyancy by how much air you keep in your lungs. That is how you control your depth which unfortunately on my second dive went completely haywire.

At any rate this would be a shallow dive of only 30-40 feet which was of some comfort...

until the dive master lead us into a cave.

Now cave diving takes another level of testing and certification which neither Bryan and I have so I was kind of shocked that he was leading us into a cave. Until I realized that the top of the cave was above the surface line which made it technically not a cave.

But it felt like one at first. Until the sea lions.

This is where the sea lions came to play. We were six divers and not all of us could fit at one time but took turns. Quite a magical experience being inches away from these amazing creatures. The dive master would spin and they would swim around him. The snorklers above us could actually pet the pups (although one lady confessed to me that she got belly bonked by a big mama out to protect them).

More magic was the sardines. The giant school dodged and weaved around us like a flock of birds. (mom this would have really freaked you out). Athough they were often inches from you they never encrouched completely into your space, almost as if there was an imaginary line they couldn't cross.

An then there were all sorts of variety of fish, eel, and sea coral.


prepping the gear.


trying to get into my wetsuit.


me with the video camera.


Bryan with some aquatic friends.


Bryan with a sea lion.


sardines anyone?




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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on November 15, 2007 2:49 PM.

dolphins at eve was the previous entry in this blog.

day six: mazatlan (part one...morning) is the next entry in this blog.

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