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Adventures in Diving

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Hi, my name is Mekela, and I have a fear of the ocean. No seriously. I love being out ON the water...in a boat. I might even put my feet in, but that is it! So, what changed? I can honestly say, I have no idea.

Here is the timeline of events:

- Week of May 24th, I went snorkeling alone. The water here is crystal clear. I took it slow, stayed in a very shallow area, put my face in the water, practiced breathing with my face in, etc. I started swimming and got near the sea grass and stood up. Nope, not happening. I tried again and the same thing. I walked back to the dive shop, where I got the snorkel gear from, feeling like an idiot and a complete failure. When I walked in, Natalie’s face lit up and she asked me how it went. I hated having to tell her what happened. She reassured me that it was okay to feel that way. She offered to go out with me as its usually better going with a buddy anyway.

- Monday, May 31st. Due to scheduling issues, this was the first day Natalie and I were able to go snorkeling together. She assured me there was nothing in the sea grass that was going to get me, and it’s really farther away than it looks. While I did have a few freak outs, we snorkeled far out and go to part of the reef that is in the bay. I told her that was the furthest I have ever swam out in the ocean. If you know CA beaches, you understand why.

- Tuesday, June 1st. I did my Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) course. This meant practicing some skills in the shallow water and then going on a dive no deeper than 40 feet.

- Wednesday, June 16th. I did another dive. This time a non-certified dive with Ricky. Since I went out of town right after my DSD, I wanted to do another dive before deciding if I was going to sign up for my Open Water or not. Before we even got back to the dive shop, I decided to sign up for my Open Water.

- Saturday, June 26th. This was Day 1 of my Open Water. I had to do some of the same skills from my DSD and additional skills in confided water (the shallow part of the bay). Then we went on a dive where we did some of the skills in deeper water.

- Sunday, June 27th. Day 2 of my Open Water. This consisted of 2 dives. The first dive I had to do other skills from the day before and new skills in deeper water. Then we got to explore. The 2nd dive was a new navigation skill using a compass under water which was easy. Then we explored again.


So, you see, in less than a month, I went from having this massive fear of something as silly as sea grass to being able to dive 60 feet deep and seeing things that are ridiculously awesome!!


What have I seen:

DSD – 2 turtles, a momma and a baby (not together). I was so excited I forgot the sign for turtle and just signed whatever I could think of and point LOL. Some lobster and shrimp. Tons of different colored parrot fish, sergeant major fish (they are all over here), and schools of fish. It was awesome to see the fish in their environment and see their personalities.

Open Water Day 1 – Another turtle, a barracuda, 3 lobsters (I almost stepped on one), yellowtail damselfish

Open Water Day 2 – On the first dive, I saw an eagle ray. Seriously, the coolest thing! It so elegant and graceful. This one was nice and was just swimming around and looking for food. Another lobster. Yes, I like the lobsters here. They are much cooled looking than any I have seen before. They have spots on them. Trunk fish and shrimp too. On the second dive, we saw lionfish and one thing I consider very gross, a moray eel. Thankfully, it was not hunting so its mouth was closed. It came out of nowhere and was right next to us. It freaked me out a little. It was about 5 feet long. On the 2nd dive, we were at the wall of the reef. So much so see down there!! Also, a wee bit creepy because you see how much further down it goes… We didn’t go any deeper than 60 feet though as that is what Open Water allows. If I want to go deeper, I need to get my Advanced Certification.


Here are a couple of pictures of my dive when I saw the eagle ray and at the wall. For videos, you need to go to my Instagram or TikTok pages. Both handles are: wanderwithmekela

Cheers!

- Wander With Mekela

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