The Start Of A Journey

Taken by Pawel, our instructor.

Here's the first post from my new blog. It's all about me learning to scuba dive and anything that goes with it. It will be both a personal log so I can look back but also, someone else might find it useful if they are thinking of getting in to the sport.

First, some background. My name is Reuben Gray and I'm the author of The Tale Of The Ale. I'm a big guy and have not been fit in years. I figured scuba diving will help a lot with fitness, both in motivation to exercise more but also in general exercise while doing it.

It all started back in August when I started doing my PADI Open Water course with This consists of 5 confined water dives in a pool and then 4 open water dives which in our case is the sea. The pool dives were done at the National Aquatic Centre. It's not a cheap course to take but we got some half price vouchers on one of those deal pages so that really helped. We had been thinking about doing it for about a year so when the deal popped up we jumped at the chance.

Last week, we flew to Tenerife and at the time we had completed our 5 pool dives but not the open water or indeed the course. That meant that we were not qualified to dive. We met up with Hillary's friend who had just completed her journey to PADI instructor level with Amarilla Divers.

They were very professional and I learned a lot from them in addition to what I had learned from my open water course so far. Since we were not qualified and they had no proof of our claim of having 5 pool dives, we had to do the Discover Scuba course. This consists of an intro to scuba, a pool dive and then a dive in the sea. We completed the pool dive very quickly because we knew all of the skills involved, although it was good to practice them again. It was then time to head out to sea. Most people do discover scuba before they do their open water course, not the other way around.

Dive 1

It was rather rougher than usual and it was a beach entry so we walked in to the sea and then put on our fins.
Hilary hadn't been feeling well and when she was knocked over by a wave and had major trouble getting up, and losing a fin she gave up for the day. I went ahead with my instructor and had a brilliant intro experience. The major difference between a pool dive and an open water dive is the current and motion of the sea. Even if I wasn't moving myself, my body was moving all the time, even under water.

It was very tough getting out because the waves had increased and we were pushed away from the normal exit point. Both myself and my instructor ended up being pushed over by the waves and both of us lost a fin. Thankfully I grabbed hers and she grabbed mine. We literally crawled to the beach where there were no more waves to knock us over. Here's the problem, if I was standing on my own I would be fine. In scuba gear, my BCD was fully inflated so a wave just lifted me off my feet. Add to the fact that the beach was rocky and I was wearing all that gear and weight, that meant my balance was way off.
On land, a scuba diver is like a beached whale. Almost helpless against the elements.

We gave it a day to recover until Hilary was feeling better and then we went for another dive.
More on that another time.


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