we had two more dives scheduled. Our
first dive of the day would be at a site called Pickles Reef. Lexie and I had been at this reef before. This was our first dive in the ocean on the
day that we were certified back in April.
were riding out to the dive site, Les indicated that he needed to go to
rest room really bad. It didn't matter
that there was a head below deck. Les
could not wait until he was in the water to relieve himself. As soon as the captain started slowing the
boat down at the dive site, Les jumped overboard.
captain was furious. Les had just
a major breach of etiquette. Les
relieved himself, but got reamed out when he climbed back aboard. The captain told him in no uncertain terms to
never ever do that on board his boat ever again.
surprised when we started getting ready for the dive.
Lexie said that she wanted to dive
today. I thought after the previous
day's experience that Lexie would rather snorkel. It
made me feel good to know that she was
going to give it another try.
John, and Al did the giant stride into the water. As
usual, I was one of the last. I was glad
that the more giant strides I did,
the less apprehensive I was. My form
still needed improving, but I was sure that would come over time.
was also in the water at this point. She
had another mask issue that Les was working with her. Al asked me
if I was ready to descend. I said that I wanted to make sure that
was Okay first. Al started going
down. I then realized that Lexie was in
Les's control so I followed Al down.
first order of business on this dive was an organized group photo. We found a clear sandy spot and knelt down
for the photo. I have always felt that
these posed photos are the most difficult part of diving.
I find myself floating away. We
held each other hand in hand and managed
to keep everybody down. This was a much
better group photo than we had achieved the day before.
the photo we headed out over the reef exploring. Once
again I found myself floating to the
top. I was really frustrated.
Nothing that I seemed to do would bring me
back down to the bottom. Les finally
noticed my predicament and gave me a couple of pounds of extra weights. This allowed me to rejoin the group on the
grade of the bottom seemed to go up from where we started.
Linn was leading the way and went farther and
farther. I wished that we could have
proceeded a little more slowly. I found
an overhang of coral. Underneath this
overhang were tons of fish seeking refuge from the currents and waves. It was an amazing feeling to be part of
this. I noticed a trumpet fish was
underneath there. I wanted to linger and
just breath in the site. My diving
companions were moving on though, so I had to move on.
found another sandy bottom. Linn
motioned to Lexie to go inverted. Lexie
and Linn posed for Les's video standing upside down.
I would have like to have joined them, but
knew that there was no way that I had enough coordination to pull off
stunt. John, who had tons of diving
experience, then showed us how it was really done.
Effortlessly he did a one arm hand stand.
explored more and Al asked me to do a pressure check.
I check my gauge and I had already reached
the 800 PSI limit. Technically Lexie was
my dive buddy, but I saw that she was paired up with Lexie exploring. Al indicated that we should go up. I felt bad switching off from Lexie, but I
knew that Linn would take care of her.
and I got back to the surface. I scanned
the surface and found the boat. It was a
fair way off, but I knew that it was easily within reach if we swam
the surface. Al and I got back to the
boat. He made sure that I got back on
safely. He took such good care of
me. I climbed back up the ladder. Al decided that he would explore a little
more just under the boat. I felt bad
that he had to come back just for me when he had plenty of air left.
the boat, it was just me, the Captain, and his deck hand.
All the other people, Dee, Marilyn, and Mary
were off snorkeling. I was happy that
Mary finally reached enough of a comfort level that she could snorkel.
by one, our adventurers returned. I was
relieved when Lexie came back on board. Al
came back. Mary came
back. Finally Linn, John and Les came
were still two people missing off of the boat. Dee
and Marilyn were snorkeling off in the distance. The
captain grew anxious over our delinquent
snorkelers. He started up the boat and
headed over to meet them. The problem
was that where they were snorkeling was starting to get too shallow for
boat. Dee and Marilyn furiously finned
to the boat. The climbed on board and
our miffed Captain, expressed a sigh of relief.
The expedition continues with the final dive on Saturday. For my
account of this dive follow the ASF
EXP 2 E link.