They were a bit nervous, while I was exhilarated. I could not wait to get in the water. We watched some training videos and got fitted for gear, then took a van (with gear trailer attached) to a local college where we had access to their pool. The water was cold and the gear heavy, but as someone who has been waiting over a year to get started on my open water certification, I was beyond excited.
We learned all about choosing a mask and fins to make sure they fit, then got in the water with our BCs and tanks. We learned some basic skills, then we were able to swim around the pool. The three of us played underwater frisbee, threw mini torpedo toys at each other, and took a few laps. We were in the pool for about 2 hours. Some might think swimming around a little pool for hours can be pretty boring—I have to admit after a while of being cold and only having a frisbee to play with it was a bit drab. But, the actual experience of sitting at the bottom of the pool and breathing air still fascinates me. It was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced, and if you ever get the chance to try out scuba, I highly recommend it. Even if you are nervous, if you have a good instructor (like we did,) they should be able to calm you down and make sure that you are having a great time.
Our instructor is 55 years old and started scuba diving when he was 49. He talked to us about how this was the best sport and how even at 49 he considered it a life changing experience. He said that he wished he would have started in his twenties and if he had he would most definitely be working in some sort of underwater career.
I consider myself lucky that I will be one of those people that can say they started diving in their twenties. I look forward to getting certified and hopefully you will be able to hear more about my experiences as Mudwater continues on with field work and surveys.
Thanks for listening.