Sunday, August 11, 2013

Caught the SCUBA bug!

As some of you guys already know, Lydia and I love the beach and ocean - especially considering how many times we've been to the Maldives! We've just never been bothered to get certified for scuba since we already have so much fun just snorkeling seeing different fishes and even mantas and a whale shark and furthermore, the thought of "studying" during a holiday was just a turn off.

Well, snorkeling ain't cutting it anymore and we just finished our Padi Open Water Course here in Austin last week. We're now certified divers! The main motivation for doing the course now was that we're going back to Conrad Maldives in November (more details on that when we actually get to go) and we definitely want to see more of the ocean through diving.

Lydia did a wonderful job in finding an excellent dive shop (Scubaland Austin) and we had an excellent instructor, James. No question about diving or equipment was too much for both Scubaland and James. Would definitely recommend them for anyone wanting to get certified.

The Open Water Course consisted reading a book, doing some quizzes and watching a DVD before two weekends with James. The first weekend going over theory in classroom and in Scubaland's pool going over basic diving skills like safety, mask and regulator clearing and buoyancy. The second weekend was the open water section which was just diving and some skills tests similar to those learned in the pool.

We did our open water dives in Reville Peak Ranch which was a old quarry about an hour from Austin. There wasn't much to see in the quarry/lake itself with just some rocks and small fishes but the dives were more about getting control of the buoyancy. Both of us floated up uncontrollable a couple of times on the first dive but we both did improve much better on the later dives.

Reville Peak Ranch

It wasn't cheap and was probably excessive but we both just bought our own scuba gear. We figured it would be a good idea since we would be paying for rental anyway and we would be more comfortable in our own gear.

Part of our scuba "stash"
We were surprised that are our some fun places to scuba around Texas like the Comal river, various scuba parks with sunken cars, ships and other wrecks and the Flower Gardens in the Gulf of Mexico. We just go back from Lake Travis today and the visibility was just horrible but we were still happy to be in the water to work on our buoyancy.

View from the water. That's 50 feet of water missing from Lake Travis

We're looking forward to more scuba/diving adventures! We're off San Francisco on a semi-mileage run this weekend and already have plans to go diving in Monterey. The weekend after, we'll be doing our PADI Advanced Open Water Course. There will be definitely plenty of diving around Texas before that big trip to the Maldives in November....

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