|Dancing on the beach after our Hawaiian wedding;|
SCUBA was the next day.
Then several years went by without any SCUBA diving. Even our last two years in the Caribbean, our below water experiences were all free diving or snorkeling or using our hooka (not all hookas are for breathing tobacco).
|Wayne prepares to descend with the "aid"|
of our hooka (the yellow tank and clear
air hose) for an underwater boat repair
in Pointe a Pitre Guadeloupe in
|Cris of Guardian SCUBA explains how to use|
the regulator to breathe underwater.
Then, serendipity struck!
The folks at West Marine Jacksonville Florida Town Center welcomed me back to work. Lo and behold, since last year the store added a dive shop! Great gear, good prices made even better with my West Marine employee discount (shameless plug -- West Marine Dive students get a 25% discount on their Mares dive gear). Better still, our store got tapped to pilot selling SCUBA lessons in conjunction with Guardian SCUBA, who offers SSI certification (SSI covers the same skills at its better known counterpart, PADI).
The pool work portion for the classes are held in a pool a block and a half from our apartment, just a few weeks before we move back onto our boat. I couldn't resist showing up for West Marine and Guardian's first lessons -- a free orientation and dip in the pool, fully geared up! It was amazing just how much nicer the Mares gear was than when I took lessons back in 2007. Everything was so easy to get into and out of, fit comfortably and the weight pouches were much easier to use than the unwieldy weight belts from the days of yore. Plus, the enthusiasm of the Guardian folks is infectious; it's impossible not to get excited, and their unflappable attitude quickly resolves any learning hiccups.
|High fives... not an official dive hand signal,|
but a congrats on our completing them prior.
|As a savvy dad himself, Jon figures it's smart to get|
this little girl into mask and fins while her parents
are busy getting used to their SCUBA gear.
Even if our SCUBA is mostly for anchor management, changing zincs and to keeping our boat hull free of barnacles and other unsavory attachments, it will feel good to do it with confidence in myself and in our equipment. Best of all, anytime I get into dive gear, I'm reminded of my Hawaiian wedding and honeymoon.
|Yes! Jon's diversion worked. |
This couple is ready to take on
the next step... full-fledged
SCUBA lessons for their
planned trip to the Philippines.
Just a few more weeks in our Jacksonville, FL apartment. This week our boat moves from Green Cove Springs Marina storage into the work yard, to have its mast pulled and re-rigged, a new bottom job, buffing and whole host of other maintenance tasks. We're set to splash November 18th, and head towards the Panama Canal sometime this December.
This morning in Jacksonville is clear at the moment, but 44 degrees F right now. Looking forward to heading South soon!