So, finally the weather is good and we’re mostly all able to do this! How exciting!!
Unfortunately this is one Friday when I have a very long meeting at work and can’t get out of it. Only actually I probably could’ve after all and that’s really annoying… but it’s good, am glad I was at the meeting in the end. And my Not Son in Law has damaged himself in such a way that diving just now is a terrible idea. So it’s just the two of them on Friday and Dave arranged it so that I could go on Saturday.
So on the Friday morning Duane and Caitlin rocked up to Dive Wellington in Island Bay for their first sea dives – yay!!!!
I don’t have a lot of details around how they felt, but I know that Duane had the same issues with equalising as he did in the pool. My girl was exhausted afterwards but that’s normal… it’s insanely tiring doing this stuff. So they had two sea dives with a decent break in between. Videos for your perusal. FYI Caitlin is beardless and has yellow fins, Duane is not beardless and has white fins 🙂
As you can see the water was really murky. I talked to Simon the next day (he is the guy that’s leading this dive, Jesse is the camera person :)) and he said that these guys had 1 -2 metres of visibility. Duane said that the camera picked up way more than he was able to see underwater.
There’s more diving vids, I’ll stick them down at the end of this post.
So that was their adventure. And the reason I’ve started with this rather than my own experience is that I don’t have any pictures or videos of my dive – I forgot to get an SD card for my camera 😦
I did take a photo of the waterfront outside the dive shop before we set off though – we didn’t dive in the same place as Duane & Caitlin did, not sure where they were but we were directly in front of Dive Wellington. It was great – easy to get to thank goodness. But getting out was NOT easy at all…
So I got there at 9 and met my fellow diver – lovely woman who was clever enough to bring a camera that worked. We got our gear sorted out, need a thicker wetsuit for the sea dive than for the pool dive. The thick wetsuits are really funky, you almost feel like you’re bouncing in them. Very cool… and really warm 😀
Went through the dive plan with Simon and then went down to get changed. Was really happy to see Will and find out he was coming with us, that was awesome!
So then off we strutted, directly across the road and down the rock steps to a tiny inlet where we got our fins on and made our way out to the diving flag. There were a lot of people!! I’m not sure why I was surprised to be honest, it was a beautiful morning, the sea was flat, there’s no wind and it was surprisingly warm for nearly the middle of July… I’m sure it was more crowded than the swimming pool.
Once we finally got down (and when I say we I mean me really – Simon and the other chick were off and running very quickly – I had issues with sinking. In that I couldn’t :/) we went through a few exercises, pretty much what we did in the pool only obviously this time out in the real world. And they were easy! Which is good 🙂 My big issue is still sinking, I’m okay at it if I just lie back and drop, but as soon as I turn over to see anything I’m rising up again. It’s really frustrating. And this time I had issues with one of my ears. Was equalising all the time but couldn’t get that ear to release the pressure. And it got painful. Not till about half way through our (23 minute) dive though which is good – by then we’d done all the exercises – but was annoying at the bit where we were meant to be enjoying ourselves.
We went down to 8 metres or so and had visibility of 5 -6 metres which was significantly better than the previous day’s dive. Saw HEAPS of fish, lots of blue cod but a lot of other fish too – it’s been way too long since I saw a fish identification poster in the fish & chip shop, I don’t remember what any of them are any more. But definitely recognised the crayfish and the anemone. Didn’t see a kina myself and didn’t even recognise the paua that show up in Duane’s videos, they’re not how I expect paua to look at all! It was really, really awesome. Surreal even – couldn’t believe I was actually experiencing this thing not just watching it on a screen.
Ear was becoming an issue and I was hugely frustrated at trying to keep myself under and ended up being up the top way sooner than I wanted to be. I really wish this was something that you can go out and practice on your own. I mean I understand why you can’t, but it would be great to just go off and practice on your own for a while. Am definitely going to be doing more dives as often as I can.
So – time to get out. Hahaha… that was terrible!!! My knees gave out as I hit the actual ground, mate! I was so heavy and they were unable to cope at all… I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this. Before I got out of the water I’d given Will my weight belt (generous right!) and taken his fins in return (totally generous :D) but just past the waters edge I wanted to dump everything and crawl up the rock steps and over the road… I really didn’t think I’d make it to be honest. My knees were screaming, my head, sinuses and ears were pounding and I was just like okay, leave me here for an hour while I die and then we’ll be all good. And then Will pointed out even if I dropped everything I still needed to get it up the bank and over the road. So. I pulled up my big girls knickers and got up. And totally left Will with my weight belt and both of our fins. ‘Cos honestly I’m really not a nice person. Fortunately he is.
During the break we were discussing a guy that had done a second dive the week before after having issues with his ear on his first dive and the fact that that resulted in quite a bit of damage to his ears and I figured that this was not something I wanted to do to myself. Which is frustrating as heck – honestly don’t think we’ll get a better day for diving before the middle of August (based purely on no facts at all) and it really was the most awesome day for it. And Caitlin had said the first dive was a bit sucky but the second dive was awesome and I was very much looking forward to that. Very much! But I also thought I’d probably spend the whole time trying to make my ear pop and in pain and however awesome it was it would not be very awesome at all… damn it. So I got changed and headed upstairs to fill in the dive log, sign my PADI course thingee and do the quick quiz. Easy peasy. Actually easy peasy. Nice.
And that was that… so now out of our wee team of 4 we have 2 that have done 2 sea dives, 1 that’s done 1 sea dive and one that is yet to get out there… I’m really hoping that we can all do the next one together but I don’t know how possible that is.
Anyway – still loved it, was really thankful that we had brilliant weather for it and hoping desperately that next Friday will be just like this Saturday was 🙂
More videos for your enjoyment, should you choose to partake