Apparently I Take Tests on Vacation

Dive day and learning day. First dive of the day was the Doc Poulson, a boat that was sunk in the 1970’s and sits alone on a plateau of sand.

 

L and I were the first ones in, and as he swam down to the boat, I followed behind, only to see an eagle ray gliding by.

 

They are magnificent creatures. Just absolutely remarkable.

 

We reached the bottom and circled the boat. It lays on the sandy ocean floor, slowly becoming overgrown with corals and sponges. Apparently a grouper lives here, but we didn’t see it.

 

Continuing across the floor, we saw more garden eels. They’re awesome.

 

Oh look at the puffer fish!

 

And this guy was just gorgeous. 

Anyway, we returned to the Doc Paulson and ascended to our own, still floating boat. There we chatted and ate cookies and candy on our way to the next dive, an hour later.

Second dive of the day was Angel Fish Reef. We didn’t actually see any angel fish, so I have no idea how the reef got its name, but the reef was beautiful. Unfortunately, given the depth and duration of the first dive, my dive computer really didn’t want me going too deep for too long, and right now I’m novice enough that I’m reluctant to push its limits, so I ended up staying a few meters above the reef the whole time.

 

These baracuda paid us a visit.

After the dive, we returned to the hotel, where I met with J to complete my Nitrox training. This means that rather than diving with the standard 21% oxygen, I can use higher concentrations (up to 40%, although most people use 32 or 36%). This will allow me to dive longer and more frequently. I hadn’t anticipated this being an issue before the trip but it clearly is.

I had done the reading last night, so this afternoon I met with the instructor, J, and took an exam. During the exam, B, a visitor from Canada kept talking to me. B is good guy, but can be a bit of a “glass is half empty” kind of guy as well. He can look at a blue sky and shining sun and complain about the likelihood of sunburn. 

I wanted to get on with things so was happy when J rescued me.

I completed the Nitrox certification and a group of us had dinner at the bar. L, B, and I were joined by R and K. They are from Seattle – R captains a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea. They’re great people, and I’ve really enjoyed diving with them.

 

Oh there are R and K at Angel Fish Reef! They get a shout-out just for being cool people. 

Anyway, that was my day. Nothing too exciting. Just two dives. And an exam.

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