Back to school. Obtaining the Open Water Diver certificate was a lot of work. Fortunately I had plenty of time here in Paje. Learning how to equalize my demanding, small ears means I crossed a significant hurdle, too. And Buccaneer Diving gave me a friend price and a fantastic instructor.
I am well bruised on my arms now: a dozen bruises at least, from working the scuba unit on and off in the water, weight belt off and on both in the pool and in the sea, and preparing the air cylinders which are heavy. Additionally, I have a sore bump on the back of my head from jumping in with a loose air cylinder on my back (due to all the de-kitting and re-kitting in the water).
Recreational diving relies so much on technology that the Open Water course assumes that a dive computer will be used. The planning tables and calculations are taught as a back-up. Modern dive computers can connect to the air source, in addition to instructing on surface interval time between dives, ascent rate, and dive time. I do not even own a waterproof watch and so learning the basics behind the dive computer functions was interesting to me and probably boring to most.
The exam in itself was surprisingly time-consuming: lots of questions and calculations. The book has a number of self-quizzes but also quizzes to be corrected and discussed with the instructor. Because I never accept any claim without questioning it, I ended up spending a few days debating with my instructor and my divemaster friend on various unnecessary details, before taking the exam. Because of their patience that never seemed to run out, I actually passed the exam, too. Hello fish, here I come.
(Paje, Zanzibar, Tanzania; August 2017)