Hamish (Hay-mish) and Blair work and play together— they are especially fond of looking up 80’s rock ballads on YouTube and, of course, duck shooting. We went over on a Monday evening, with Hamish fresh back from a weekend out fishing on his boat. He entertained us with a great meal and drinks. Blair was especially pleased…. (Can you figure out who Heidi and I think he looks like?)
We had to get up early the next morning, so we left Hamish to finish of the bottle of wine- but not before he had asked if we wanted to go for a “try dive” on Wednesday. His girlfriend Tory is a dive instructor and would be back later that week if we wanted to go for a FREE SCUBA dive- where they gear you up and teach you the basics in a swimming pool.
I wasn’t going to turn down a free SCUBA lesson so Heidi and I said we were in!
Wednesday after school, we headed into Napier to meet her at the dive shop. We loaded up our gear
and I got fit for a wetsuit. They said I could take it off and then get into again once we got the pool- but I decided that I wasn’t going to get in and out any more than I had to!
and then headed over to the public swimming pool. Heidi and I were lucky in that no one else had signed up for the dive that night (which is open to the public to try for free, also!) and we had Tory all to ourselves. The pool, however, we didn’t. There was swim practice going on in the lanes besides us, so I can only imagine what they thought as we waddled into the swimming area and I goofed around taking photos getting pumped up.
I was having a great time, hamming it up for pictures….
until it came time to actually start the whole underwater breathing thing!
Heidi had no qualms and just plunged her head in the water! When I hesitated, Tory said she’d hold my hand, and I didn’t refuse! We went through a series of exercises, building up to independent swimming. First, you just stand in the water and put your face in to practice breathing, then you practice breathing with your eyes closed (as many people who panic take their masks off, or they think if they can’t see that they can’t breathe, etc…). After that, you go down on your knees underwater and practice breathing completely submerged. Tory held my hand for that one, too….
But once I got the hang of it, I was addicted! Tory got out and took some pictures of us and we got to “have a play.”
This is me completely submerged, looking up from the bottom of the pool!
It was funny swimming with the swim teams lapping back and forth in the next lane as even though we have a ridiculous amount of gear, I somehow felt so invisible slinking along the bottom. I had to resist the urge to like go up and pinch their bottoms!
We left exhausted and starving and I slept great that night! Tory said that after 3 pool sessions, book work and 3 open water sessions you’re considered certified for life! It’s something I’d consider looking into once I’m home and having the financial resources as I know it can be expensive. If only my mother still had all her gear from her old SCUBA diving days!