Monday, December 17, 2007

Every now and then, we see something that makes us do a double take and go "Whoa, we really ARE in Mexico!" It might be the chickens that accompany us for part of our morning walk to work or the horse we saw sitting in the back of a really small pickup truck or coming home to discover that our water was not working at the house.

Apparently the water outage was a municipal maintenance thing that killed our water pressure. Luckily, for reasons that we don't know, a hose spigot did work in the backyard so with a little help from a ladder and some MacGyver ingenuity, I rigged up an outdoor shower and was able to get washed up (wearing a bikini) in the backyard.

We have been diving like crazy over the past week. We headed out to a site called Carazales and did a 70 foot deep dive to satisfy the requirements for a couple of guys in our class. I'm not too keen on deep dives because of my asthma but my buddy, Greg, was awesome and we saw some fascinating things, like a little seahorse ( my first time seeing one!).

After the deep dive, we got to do a fun dive on a site with coral gardens. I felt like we were swimming through a scene from Finding Nemo. The coral is largely untouched so the scenery was a riot of color and activity. We saw a bright yellow puffer, a lizardfish, tons of damselfish and these cute little bright blue fish that were the size of my thumbnail.

We dove the wreck again on Thursday and actually got penetrate it. Cheryl took us in through a hole in the hull and we got to swim around a little. It was freaking unbelievable! Loren actually got some video of it that I will post a little later. We also dove Roca Elefante, where we got to dive through this narrow canyon. It is pretty humbling to swim through a pass with 40 foot tall walls on either side of you. We saw a spotted eel that was easily 5 feet long. He was huge and posed for a couple of pretty pictures for us.

PADI requires divers to have 100 dives before they can start the Instructor Development Course. I have 40 dives and the other divers in my class on have logged 25 or so, so we all have our work cut out for us to be ready for the February IDC. We have been doing short "bounce" dives in the bay to help us log more dives. There is a lot of activity in our little bay in front of the hotel. There are a ton of rays, stonefish, puffers, and schools upon schools of other fish. We have been logging about 4 dives a day, doing two with class and at least two on our own. Doing a couple of bay dives on our lunch break or after class is a great way to relax.

When we got to Mexico, the class before us was starting their IDC, which is 14 days straight of tests, skill assessments, presentations and STRESS. We have barely seen any of the instructor candidates since we have been here and we live with four of them. They completed their Instructor Exams yesterday (with 100 percent pass rate!!) and everyone gathered at the beach house to blow off some steam. With Instructor Kalan leading the drinking games and Instructor Laura playing DJ, we bonded over tequila shots and a hilarious game of Kings. Most of the new instructors are going home over the next week or so, so it was nice to get to know them a little better before they leave.

We have Rescue class all this week (still review for me) and next week we have a lot of time off because of the holidays (we get Boxing Day off!!). After that, we start our Divemaster classes and are on our way to being PADI Pros!


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