Sunday, May 24, 2015

Jasmine and My Adventure

How it started: Jessica and I are writing an underwater crime scene investigation series for teens. She is a diver, I was not. 

I decided to take a two hour intro to scuba class to get a feel for it. I have never tried it before because I am somewhat claustrophobic, and I do not breath well through my nose. When doing snorkeling as a lifeguard I was not able to clear my mask. But I figured I could handle this intro class.
 The class is for anyone ages 8 and up. So Jasmine and Kaleb agreed to try it with me.

Chase helping me out. He's 21. His older brother Mike also works at the shop.

 I figured Jasmine would be very fearful and not able to complete it. She struggles with fear a lot. (I wonder if that is genetic?) Anyway, I was wrong. Jasmine did fine, and Kaleb panicked. 

We were only in six foot deep water, but he would not stay under. Every time we went down, he gave the up signal and popped up. We were able to complete clearing our masks and regulators, which were the only two required skills, in about three feet water, but that was it. We were not able to actually do the dive part (the deepest would have been seven feet) due to Kaleb. 

That is okay. That just means he is not ready to scuba dive. Kids 10 and up can get their junior basic PADI certification.
John, Jasmine, Chase and Alex

After the two hour intro, Jasmine and I went over to the shop and signed up to start basic the next day. I was so surprised she actually wanted to do it. This is the child who clings to me when we snorkel.

We started by watching a couple of intro videos at the shop, and then we went to a pool to work on basic skills.

The class is set up so you can do it three consecutive days, but that would not work for us. It meant testing out on all the skills the first time in the pool. And three days was definitely not enough time to read the whole manual and be ready to test. So we set up to do it four weekends in a row. Two at the pool and two open water.
Second week in the pool. We repeated the skills from the previous week and all the new ones.
We had to flood our mask and clear it under water, take off the mask and leave it off a full minute underwater breathing only through our mouths with the regulator and finally swim the length of the pool with no mask breathing only through our mouths. I was afraid my nose would get mixed up, and I'd breath through my nose. But that didn't happen. It was like my body was programmed to stop breathing through my nose when I pulled the mask off.

We had to do regulator recovery and buddy breathing, and take off all the gear and put it back out underwater 
 The third week we did our controlled open water dives. I had the lighting set wrong on my new underwater camera. (I was able to get the camera thanks to my brother) So the pictures were red. It was set for deep water and you lose color there so it adds the red. But in the shallower water, all my pictures were tinted red.

Today were our official open water dives. However, the current was really bad, and it was red flag so we couldn't go "over the wall" (jetties) so couldn't go to 40 feet. However, we were able to go deep enough on both dives to certify and stay down over 25 minutes each dive.
 Jasmine and Alex. He was really sweet with her. He's 25 and has a six year old step daughter. He let her hold his hand some of the time.

 Jasmine and Alex
 Alex trying to do a three way selfie. Jasmine didn't realize so didn't look that way.

 Jasmine and me somewhere between 12 and 20 feet deep

Jasmine had trouble with her ears, so I need to get an appointment for her. We both certified, but Alex wants to do one more dive with Jasmine next week to see if her ears will clear better.

Kaleb gets to redo the intro class for free since he freaked out on the last one. I have signed Kayla up to do it with him. She doesn't know that. I don't want her to sabotage.

Who knows. If everyone else is going to be diving, maybe Rick and I will rent tanks and do our first together dive. He hasn't been diving in almost ten years! Tyler either, but he's not home for another few weeks. 

And of course Jessica can no longer dive until she has the baby.

So that's the brief version of our adventure.

What is one activity you share as a family? What have you done that has been out of your comfort zone?

(And scuba is now in my comfort zone. I love it and so does Jazzy. But that's because our water was so clear today you could easily see to the bottom).


Emily said...

Our family loves to play disc golf together when we travel, and all of us except L and R do karate together. That was definitely out of my comfort zone when we first started, and there are still things we do that are uncomfortable for me. But I'm learning to push myself, and I'm enjoying the satisfaction of doing things I didn't think I could do.

Kathy C. said...

That's cool Emily.

Anonymous said...

Very cool! I've always been a bit afraid of scuba diving, but it looks like it might be fun to try!

One Crowded House said...

That is so awesome! What a great experience.

We need to have more adventures... it seems like going hiking in the mountains is adventurous as we get... and we have one child in particular who complains about just about everything unless he is playing basketball.