While in Hawaii, I got signed up for scuba diving. I'll be honest - at first, I wasn't too keen on it. But boy, was I wrong.

We first did our training at a swimming pool. I got fitted with a hot purple wetsuit (which looked strangely similar to the ones the girls were wearing...) The first activity, using the regulator to breathe, was incredibly tough. I kept wanting to breathe in/out through my nose - breathing just through my mouth felt unnatural. I eventually got the hang of it, and that's when my love of scuba diving began.

We eventually got into full gear and practiced in the pool - it felt so incredibly peaceful! After what seemed to be an hour or two at the pool, we headed over to the ocean to do our first dive.

Now, let me say that due to certain past experiences, I had vowed never to set foot on an ocean-bound boat again (if this seems to conflict with sailing hobby, then yes, it's a contradiction). And the open water dive was a stark reminder on why.

As we headed oceanbound, I started feeling sick. Very sick. The waves were incredibly rough (for Hawaii) and I felt my stomach starting to churn. Fortunately, we reached the dive point, and fortunately, I got to be the second one to dive out.

I remember the first step out in the rough ocean waters - I had forgotten all my training. I can't remember the last time I panicked like I did when I first dove out. I (stupidly) removed my regulator and tried to breathe normally, but kept failing. Eventually I calmed down and went underwater (to avoid getting even sicker and to start getting used to using the regulator underwater).

Now, even being out in the water was only marginally better - the waves kept making me feel worse, and people were having a hard time getting off the boat (I floated around for a while, waiting for everybody to be waterbound). I later discovered that the reason it took so long is because so many people got sick, they had to get back up on the boat. (Bert ended up puking twice underwater... quite a skill!)

Eventually, I got to start the dive part with my instructor. As I cautiously dove down (being sure to equalize the pressure in my ears every few feet), a sense of calm came over me. Underneath the waves, the sea was so peaceful. It was an equivalent feeling to sailing on the bay ... everything was calm and I felt at peace.

Even better, when I got to the bottom, there was a sea turtle! A frickin' sea turtle! I swam with it for a bit (I didn't have enough weights - I kept getting pulled up)... then I realized I was running out of air so I went back up.

The moment I got on the boat, I dry heaved over the side (I have learned that anytime I'm oceanbound, I should eat light) and then sat down and felt so-very-sick for the rest of the ride back.

You can see me and Tim to the far right of the picture (the bucket was for Tim).

But, even with the sea sickness, I'm hooked on scuba diving. I've started looking into schools here in San Diego to pick up a certification (looks like I need to save up for a few weeks!).

I never understood people who obsessed over scuba diving, but now I get it. It's frickin awesome.

. . .

Brian decided to photoshop the group photo I posted in a previous entry, entitled "ROYROYROY" (with apologies to Steve and Aaron):

Now if that's not the most disturbing thing I've ever seen, I don't know what is.

Posted by roy on January 5, 2010 at 10:31 PM in Travel, Ramblings | 8 Comments

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Roebot (guest)

Comment posted on January 19th, 2010 at 10:24 PM
Oh my god that last photo is f**king awesome. I look HUGE.
Comment posted on January 7th, 2010 at 11:04 PM
matt and i took a crash scuba course in mexico. it was basically a guy pointing to pictures and saying, do this...do that...

anyway, i panicked when i first got in the water because the whole breathing out thing is so weird. then i finally made it down and it was awesome!

lemme know what scuba lessons you take. maybe i'll join! (if i have the $$)
Comment posted on January 7th, 2010 at 08:42 PM
whoa, puking underwater? that's... sorta neat.
Comment posted on January 6th, 2010 at 04:36 PM
Best picture ever.

Comment posted on January 6th, 2010 at 07:23 AM
The Roy on the right is very disturbing.

PM5K (guest)

Comment posted on January 5th, 2010 at 11:54 PM
That's so hilarious. That story is just a few words changed from sounding like the worst day of your life, but it wasn't!

PM5K (guest)

Comment posted on January 5th, 2010 at 11:32 PM
The second most disturbing thing is just how realistic your head looks on the middle guys body. The third most disturbing is my poor PS skills.