Link to the Audio file.
Our expedition trip to Okinawa consisted of 4 dives. Leading up to these dives we studied the chapters of our dive books and learned how to use the “Recreational Dive Planner” table. With our attained knowledge of nitrogen levels in the body, gas narcosis, equipment allocation, and good diving practice, we were ready to test our skills (and learn new ones) in open water (at a maximum of 18 meters of depth). We dived in small groups and if one person wasn’t ready to dive, then none of us were. It was highly team (and buddy) oriented, learning proper hand signals for underwater communication was important to everyone’s safety. However once all the knowledge and communicative methods became of second nature to us, we were controlling our buoyancy (and other aspects) in the water sufficiently to swim and discover the underwater world.
Many manoeuvres were performed underwater. The most difficult being taking the BCD off for adjustments, and then putting it back on with the limited visibility of the masks. Apart from that the CESA, aided buddy ascent, normal ascent, and controlled buoyancy ascent were easy and fun to practice. There were many more skills we had to attain such as navigating underwater, planning our air consumption, clearing our masks (of water) underwater, and simulating running out of air. I developed many skills during my time in the open water diving course, and can say that I now know how to “look left and right before crossing the road”.
Here’s a reflection on how the trip changed me and made me grow.