Training New Divers

We had two beginners today.  The rest of the crowd included one of their fathers, Peter K., and two civilians.  That made the site decision easy because it would need to accommodate the just-getting-started folks.  The two civilians were good eggs, Paul S. and LD, who are always willing to go anywhere.  It turned out that Kettle Island beach would be calm enough for the newbees and everyone else could get wet at the west side of the island, but within sight of the beach.  The Captain stayed alert while Pete and Pat herded scubas and drove the boat.  Veronica and I were beaching it with the students.

There were dark skies but with no wind and a flat calm sea.  Not a breath of air was stirring as we paddled into the beach.  That made it easy to perform skills in waist-deep water.  The visibility was about 15-20 feet just off the pebbley shore.  In fact, there was kind of a steep drop off as the bottom transitioned to muddy sand from the pebbles.  But the tide was coming in and we could easily moor the inflatable and divers flag with just a 5 pound weight on the end of the painter.

Everyone did great in clearing their ears and learning to breathe from the scuba unit without a mask in the 55 degree salty water.  This assists them when it comes to mask clearing, I think.  It’s just hard to do it when the cold water makes you feel like gasping as it washes over your eyes and nose.  We donned our tanks and made short forays out into the 20 feet zone to circle large boulders that housed lobsters, green crabs, hermit crabs, and little fish.  Bobby got to practice retrieving a lost fin and a slip-sliding weight belt, while Greg got to practice towing stuff, turning on another diver’s air (mine), and wrestling scuba gear out of or into the inflatable.  On the bottom, we saw the shed carapace of a lobster that had molted and moon snails that retracted their gray mantle slowly as you held them on your palm.  Bobby pointed out a teeny flounder that was no bigger than your little fingernail.  I would have missed it.

When we’d spent about an hour playing around in the beach front area, we decided we’d swim over to meet the Easy Diver where it was moored about 1/8 of a mile away to get warmed up.  All our scuba gear was back in the inflatable and we lazed along on our backs, using just our swim fins.  Bobby K. and Greg B. were comfortable and talkative as we moved along together, listening to the voices coming over the water from the other divers getting back onto the big boat.  They powered over to meet us and we gave each other great gobs of glory for our fin swim efforts.

Since Peter K. had to catch a plane at 6 PM, we agreed that we’d be “one and done.”

We had good fun.

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