It wasn’t the warmest of mornings yesterday, but Eight willing participants trundled off to the local beach, Cala Cortina, for our Discover Scuba session. A few had done it before but were having another go, but me, well I was a total newbie and whilst for the last week I was excited, by the time we were stood on the beach having our safety briefing it would be fair to say I was bricking it!
We were asked if anyone was nervous and I was brave enough to put my hand up, I mean it’s only fair they knew what they were dealing with. The instructors split us into two groups of four and I was in group two. To try and allay the building nerves I took myself off for a swim, in water which in truth was several degrees cooler than I was expecting, but it passed the time and took my mind of what was to come. Remember my cup is always half empty!
By the time I was kitted up with a wetsuit (which for some reason seem to make everyone look six months pregnant), a weight belt, fins, a mask, and a bcd (buoyancy control device) and all its accompanying gubbins I was weighed down like a pack horse. Actually the gubbins are fairly important the regulator and tank being a fundamental part!
In the water before any of us could proceed we needed to demonstrate that we could clear our mask, which for me was easy as it’s a frequent snorkelling experience, take our regulators out and put them back in whilst holding it, and take our regulator out, let it go, find it and put it back in. That’s all well and good whilst you’re standing upright head out of the water, but you also have to show that you can do it whilst under the water. Now in truth I didn’t really struggle with any of these tasks above or below the water, although you do need to think about what you’re doing, but what was a problem was staying under the water in the first place. No matter how much air I dumped out of the bcd my knees would not stay on the bottom and I was consistently rolling over to the right. There was nothing else for it but to put more weight in the belt. Clearly I am naturally buoyant although some would say that’s due to the hot air I am filled with!
Back down I go and finally I am kneeling on the bottom, and staying there, don’t get too excited we were only at just over a meter depth at this point. Houston we have a problem, my chest feels like it has a lead weight on it and I feel as if I can’t breathe. Back up to the surface I go, where it is discovered that my air flow regulator was set to minimum not maximum. At this point with all this extra weight and lowest amount of air coming in I am wondering if my husband has given them the nod, and I’m going to suffer an unexplained accident! Only joking, I mean it would be a lot more private for me to disappear over the side of the boat one day, and probably a lot less questions asked.
Now we have shown we have a grasp of the basics we were split into pairs with each pair having an instructor and were taken around the little bay. At this point I would love to say that I saw some wondrous things, but I was concentrating so hard on a. Making sure I used the fins properly (as I do have a habit of kicking too hard and creating an underwater tidal wave) b. Trying not to wave my arms around and hold them still, which I didn’t manage successfully c. Trying not to constantly barrel roll over to the right and most importantly d. BREATHE. Consequently there could have been the Spanish equivalent of the Loch Ness monster in there and I wouldn’t have seen it.
Forty minutes later we were back at the beach, making the slow waddle back to the shore without falling backwards with the weight of all the gear. All done, no real dramas and another box ticked.
Now I’ve had a chance to reflect, yes I did enjoy it, and it is something I may pursue. It was a few hours well spent, with instructors who clearly know what they are doing, communicate well regardless of the ineptitude of their audience, have the patience of a saint, and exude an air of calm, which is just what was needed.
So if anyone is in this area of Spain and wants to give it a go, I would highly recommend Ed, Jo, and Alex from Scuba Murcia.
Listening with anticipation!
Pre tank, and looking very fetching!
It’s done, I survived and I’m smiling, woop woop!