In Search of America

Mexico Dia Siete

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Today is the day. The sun is shining. I hadn’t quiet finished my reading, but after a quick breakfast I headed to the marina. I was excited. I was starting my open water dive school. I had been looking forward to this part of the trip the whole time. I would also be lying if I didn’t admit I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous as well.

I decided to walk the mile to the marina. It was a nice mellow walk and not too hot. I figured that the walk would calm the nerves and give me some time to breathe in some fresh air.

I got to the dive center at the marina a little after nine and met the crew. David would be my instructor. Luca and Ana were running the show. And then there were three ladies all working on getting their master diving certification. 

David had me fill out paperwork quickly before showing me the gear, how it works, what it’s all for, and how it fits all together. We headed to the beach to practice some skills under water. 

I have lots of experience being under water. I have been in the pool for more hours than any other sport I have attempted. I swam competitively, played waterpolo, lifeguarded, and taught swim lessons for five years. So long story short, I feel comfortable in the water. 

Most of the skills were easy and some a little more difficult. Then I got to clearing my mask. I couldn’t stop freaking out while clearing the dang mask. You basically need to be able to fill your mask up with water and clear the water out by blowing air through your nose. I tried over and over and over again. I kept inhaling the water through my nose and drinking it. At one point I even freaked out and swam to the top, which I later learned is something you can’t do while diving.

After coughing super hard from all the salt water I was inhaling, he agreed to let me be done for the day after one more attempt. We went back down, I tried one last time. I kind of got it, but it wasn’t the most graceful attempt. As we headed up, I pulled the rookie card and inflated my jacket rather than deflating it. I rose to the surface super quickly. A big no no. When you do that you can easily burst your lungs because of the pressure. He gave me a stern talking to after.

Our drive back was short and quiet. I was on the verge of tears. He probably knew that. We cleaned the salt off our gear and I headed back tot he hostel. I walked back to give myself a little time to process everything. I cried a little. 

I met up with Coco at a coffee shop and burst out how much I hated it. I was frustrated and wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue the class. She reassured me it got better. She had felt the same way during her class. It’s a lot of information and new skills you are learning. After decompressing for an hour, we headed to get food. I was starving. 

The rest of the night was spent reading the chapters in my text book. It was a lot of dense reading. I talked to a few other friends who dive and am going to bed thinking I might make it back to the class in the morning. 

Buenos Noches.

P.S. I was so stressed out about the diving stuff I basically forgot to take any pictures. Whoops!

Sarah TumaComment