Apr 12 2009

I Went Diving!

Published by at 1:33 pm under St. Thomas

I’m sure some of you are surprised to read the title of this post.  Perhaps you remember my story from 2002 when Dave and I took a “Discover Scuba” class when we were in Australia.  I’ll spare everyone the details, but suffice it to say, Dave loved it so much that he got his diving certification the next year.  Me, not so much.  I seem to remember a bunch of sobbing and swearing that diving wasn’t for me.

I’ve never felt like I’m missing out when Dave goes diving.  I’ve either tagged along and snorkeled, or chilled out at the beach.

Fast forward to today.  The place we stayed on St. Thomas had a dive shop that offered a free “Discover Scuba” course.  I’m not sure why I decided to take the class, but I did.  Maybe because it was free.  Or maybe because it was in a swimming pool instead of the ocean like the time in Australia.  Or maybe because I was a little tired of hearing Dave say things like, “I really think you’d be fine with diving if you tried again and learned in a pool.”  Or maybe because I wanted to push myself.  Probably a combination of all of these things.  Anyway, Dave was off doing the morning dive out on the ocean, so I took the opportunity to take the class.   

I had a mild freak out at the beginning of the pool session, but my instructor, Jessica, was amazing (there was another instructor that worked with the other people taking the class, who were decidedly not freaking out).  Jessica basically gave me a private Scuba lesson.  After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was probably 5 minutes, I finally got comfortable sitting on the bottom of the pool just breathing through the regulator (Jessica was sitting right across from me, very patiently waiting until her zen-like calm permeated through the water and reached me).  And after that, I practiced skills that I thought I would find difficult, like clearing my mask, equalizing my ears, and taking the regulator out and putting it back in under water.  They were actually pretty easy.  Then I put on my fins and went down to the deep end and swam around under water.

That afternoon, the dive boat went out to a spot that was good for divers and snorkelers.  I originally thought I would snorkel, but I decided to try diving.  The other people who took the morning class went too, so they had extra instructors there.  My new best friend Jessica stuck with me, and Dave documented the event that I’m sure he thought he’d never witness by following us around with his camera.  At first, it took a while for me to get down to the bottom because I didn’t have enough weights in my weight belt (I’m sure I looked hilarious – my legs kept floating upward no matter how much I tried to move downward).  But then Jessica put some more weights on my belt and I was in business.  Then, we started swimming around at depths between 15 and 40 feet.  I found it a little challenging, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised I was actually diving!  Here’s proof:


Taking the plunge.


It might be difficult to see in this picture but Jessica is holding my hand.


Comfortable enough for Jessica to swim a short distance away from me.

We did two dives that afternoon – the second one was a lot easier.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get certified, because it seems like a lot of hassle (there’s a lot to remember, there’s a lot of equipment, and I’m sure I won’t have someone as patient/attentive as Jessica next time).  But I’d like to try it again sometime.  It was very cool.


Here’s a picture neither of us ever thought would happen.

– Meredith

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “I Went Diving!”

  1. Sara says:

    If you do every decide to get certified, I will gladly sit underwater with you and be patient and attentive (and teach you all the cool stuff that’s around you.)

  2. Meredith says:

    Sara, you are wonderful and super sweet. But if you think I’m going in the icy/murky waters of New England, you are sadly mistaken. So, you’ll have to come be patient and attentive and point out cool things to me somewhere warm. 🙂

  3. Way to go, Meredith… yay! You know what? I might try it myself. Well… I might be not as brave as you are but… when you put it in words… you made it sound… possible 😀