Another long-term to-do item on my list was completed this month. Alli and I both became certified scuba divers, so we can now dive around the world when we travel.
About 12 years ago, when I was an undergraduate student at Boston University, I actually completed the classroom and pool training required for scuba diving. But I never took the open-water diving tests. Not because I was afraid, but because I thought it’d be cold, and I went to Israel for the whole summer.
As it turns out, diving around New England is cold indeed. Two of our divers were “reasonable,” with a water temperature of 64 degrees F. Those were in Old Garden Beach in Rockport, MA. But the other two dives were very cold: 46 degrees F! Whoa 😉 Those were off a boat about 20 minutes southeast of Gloucester, MA, at sites called Pickett’s Ledge and Norman’s Woe.
We took our classes and dives with East Coast Divers of Brookline, MA. They are conveniently-located nearby, and were recommended by a friend of a good friend, Rick. Our main instructors were Alex and Nick, but we also had a couple of other instructors during the pool sessions. Everyone was friendly, professional, happy to help, and generally just fun and cheerful.
The entire experience was a lot of fun. I’m very happy we did it. We learned how to use scuba gear, some diving principles and theory, how to set up, plan dives, not panic, what to do underwater, and more.
During the “checkout” dives (the last ones before you get certified, the cold ones for us), we saw a lot more marine life than we expected here in Boston. A lot of lobsters, crab, some fish, and a bunch of interesting things. That was a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure if it’s enough to make up for the super-cold water, though.
Now we actually need to dive 😉 Preferably somewhere warm.