7.9.10 85 °F
We had an early wake up this morning for our next PADI class. We walked in and met our instructor Dave and two others that were going to take the class with us. One of our new classmates was a chick named Sonia who was on holiday from England and the other one was an Italian guy who didn’t speak much English. He told me his name but I could not understand him so I just nodded along and proceeded to call him “The Italian”. We had another two hours of boring video and a few tests to complete before lunch. I tried my best to stay awake and completed my test with flying colors.
We broke for lunch and headed down to the restaurant to enjoy some Massaman, a Thai peanut curry dish, which was delicious.
We didn’t have much down-time, it was to start the next chapter of our dive training. It was time to get hands-on, no more books, no more cheesy videos. This round we would get suited up and actually get wet. Being newbies, we weren’t allowed in the ocean just yet, so they threw us in the pool… the shallow end.
We met Dave at one of the lovely pools at Ban's Resort and waited for Sonia and the Italian who weren’t far behind. While we stripped down to our bathing suits, the unspeakable happened. The Italian showed up in a Speedo. Unacceptable. This sort of thing may be just fine and dandy in Italy but, my lord, adapt. You're no longer in Italy and no one on this island is wearing a Speedo. Take a hint. We were all blinded by his man panties and tried our best to look elsewhere.
We warmed up with a physical fitness test; 20 laps and 10 minutes of treading water. Piece of cake.
Afterwards we climbed out of the pool (the Italians Speedo barely hanging on for dear life) and prepared for our next lesson. Dave sat us down and taught us the different parts and uses of our scuba gear.
The first piece of scuba attire is your weight belt which is used to counteract the buoyancy of the other equipment. Next is our BCD, buoyancy control device, which is attached to our oxygen tanks.
He demonstrated how to hook up our mouthpieces and pressure gauges to the tank and explained how the gauges work. The last part of the ensembles is the fins and the mask.
Now it was our turn to apply this lesson and get suited up in our gear. We got all suited up; once again trying our best not to stare at the Italian whose scuba gear was pushing his itty bitty bikini briefs to pornographic limits. We were ready to dive.
Instead of diving we dipped, right into the shallow end. Our first exercise was simply breathing underwater and reading our gauges. He taught us how to communicate with special underwater signals. This took a longer to learn than expected. When everything is peachy, my normal signal is to give the thumbs up sign; however, in diving language, this means that you want to go up to the surface. Instead you give the “ok” sign.
Everyone had the same problem as me and we all kept flashing our thumbs-up. To break us of this habit, Dave proposed a deal; everything we gave an unnecessary thumbs-up we would have to buy him a beer, but on the contrary, if he gave us a thumbs-up he would buy us all beers. Something told me not to trust this deal, but we all agreed. By the end of the day Dave had racked up over a 6 pack. Something tells me he’s done this before.
After the kiddy-pool training, we moved to the deep end. We learned how to control our buoyancy using deep and shallow breaths. He also taught us how to assist in buddy-breathing, when your dive partner runs out of air and needs to use your extra mouth piece to breath together out of one tank until you can make a proper ascent to the surface.
Dave concluded the class with high fives for all of us and one simple request for the Italian; Invest in a pair of board shorts.
It was an informative day and I felt prepared to dive.
Tomorrow would be our first day of diving and I couldn’t wait.
- SIDENOTE: The show I was working on at AMS Pictures in Dallas TX, entitled "Ma's Roadhouse", premieres on September 15th at 9pm! http://www.trutv.com/shows/mas-roadhouse/index.html
From Executive Producer Andy Streitfeld and AMS Pictures, comes Ma's Roadhouse a new reality show on truTV!
Rick Fairless is the owner of Strokers Dallas, a Texas motorcycle shop, tattoo parlor and biker bar. His greatest asset is his 71-year-old mother, who's also his best, but most outspoken, employee. Can Rick keep his business afloat? And can Ma keep her hands off the bartender?
I wish I could be there to watch it with all the hardworking people at AMS but at least, by then, I will be back in the states and watching intently from my TV at home You guys are the best!