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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dive 1: Playa Chica, Puerto del Carmen - 28/4/2009

The PADI book said that the first training dive should be just a dive. Peter had me do a couple of skills to balance with dive 2 a bit better. I was quite happy with that idea, figuring that I would rather have the last of the 4 training dives more like a dive than the first.

I needed some help remembering how the gear all pieced together, but most of it was pretty intuitive. Geared up, we walked to the beach of Playa Chica, which is, as the name suggests, a small beach protected by large piles of rocks on either side. Brian and I had the best snorkelling there during our last Lanzarote trip, but sadly, that was after my last camera had died.

We waddled into the water and then put fins on. Submerging the first time was a little awkward, just like in the pool, but it didn’t take too long to get used to everything. Peter had me hold his hand for the first few minutes of being underwater, until both of us were sure I was doing ok. He had me do the first few skills and realised that while my buoyancy was perfect for diving, it wasn’t great for staying parked at the bottom to do the skills. He had to hold me down by the shoulder. Skills done, we swam around the edge of the big pile of barrier rocks. I saw cuddlefish, seabreams and lots of fish whose names I forgot very quickly after examining the wall chart back at the dive shop . The maximum depth for the dive was 8m. We returned to the surface via Playa Chica as well, which meant ankles down were covered in sand.

The walk back to the van was much more of a slog than the walk to the water. It was this point where I realised that every dive was going to be like this. Unless I take up altitude diving, and even then, locally I don’t think even altitude diving will make a difference. I will always have an uphill walk on the way back from a dive. Water flows down hill. Tired diver trudges uphill with wet, heavy gear.

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