This past weekend, Vince and I finished our PADI SCUBA open water dive certification! We are officially dive buddies for life! [space_20]
How does a land-locked couple get certified in an ocean-centric sport?
Step 1: Find a local dive shop!
After finishing our online course (roughly 10 hours of learning every. single. thing. that could go wrong while diving) we completed the pool portion of our certification with The Dive Shop. Their instructors were fantastic to work with! Hopefully we'll get to go on a diving trip with them in the near future.
Step 2: Find a place to dive!
Sadly our (packed) schedule didn't let us complete our certification with The Dive Shop, so we scheduled our open water dives with another local shop, Skin n Scuba. We traveled to exciting Beaver Lake, Arkansas, which was about a 3.5 hour drive from our home. It
rained poured almost the entire way there on Friday night, which was a real treat for my trusty driver...
Step 3: Find a place to stay!
Skin n Scuba recommended we stay at C & J Sports. Not only are they a fully stocked outdoor shop, but they also have a lot of lodging. By the time we booked, they only had space available in the bunk house :/ The pictures online did not look promising, but the cost was only $30 per night, so at least it had that going for it. Thankfully when we arrived, our building was a lot nicer than it looked online.
Our room was cozy with a full-sized bunkbed and a twin-sized bed. When you're out on the lake diving all day you really don't need anything fancier. Each floor of the bunkhouse had shared bathrooms/showers that were always clean and never busy.
Speaking of cozy, can you believe I fit two sets of dive equipment AND weekend luggage into my Mini? I swear my car can hold more than any sedan out there.
Step 4: DIVE!
We had the best time diving! Even though lake diving isn't the most exciting experience in the world, it was amazing to have the opportunity to actually dive deeper than we ever did in a pool setting. Plus, the underwater terrain was way more exciting to explore.
Our open water certification consisted of 4 dives across two days (Saturday and Sunday). On our final dive - because we were such model students :) - our instructor took us on an exploratory dive in search of a sunken two story houseboat (!!!!). Ironically, I've had bad dreams about being trapped underwater in sunken ships, but this really excited me. Sadly, we weren't able to reach the houseboat for a variety of reasons (colder deep water, low on air, horrible visibility, etc.), but the search was still really fun. Diving is the life for me!
Step 5: DIVE MORE!
Our next diving adventure will be in early August in ICELAND! I seriously cannot wait. We're taking a 10-day roadtrip around the island complete with whale-watching, glacier hiking, lagoon touring, and DIVING! So so excited!!!