Cat5 Being Thrown Out of McDonalds for Not Wearing a Shirt Made My Day

Well, survival was attained today in the first day of the actual pool/open
water PADI tests. We all finished off the written part of the certification
on friday, with myself scoring a whopping 98% (highest in the class if I may
say so) tied only by Cat5 (who had to suck up to the teach to get his
almost-answer approved as “OK”. He’s just jelous though.

So today we headed out to Hope (tooooooooo eeeeeeeeaaaaaaarrrrly!) to the pool
and spend the next 3 hours jumping in and out of the pool, doing excersises
like recovering a lost regulator, buddy breathing, breathing from an free
flowing regulator, and emergency ascents. Everyone did great in this, with a
couple of people who were a little shakey with doing things like taking their
mask off at the bottom of the pool (and rightly so I might add). Everyone did
awsome though, and at noon we headed to Lake Of The Woods on the north side of
Hope. It’s a little lake that is very popular, has a tiny little crappy beach,
and a nice muddy bottom for all us rookies to stir up while trying to control
our boyancy.

Boyancy is my main problem. I’m ok in the pool, I can maintain level floating
underwater, but put me in real water, and I’ll either drop to the bottom like
a rock (not descending, that’s fine, but once I’m actually at the bottom) and
end up on my knees (stirring up the muck). When this happens of course I
inflate my BCD (Boyancy Control Device – the vest thingy) and start shooting
to the surface. Not good, especially without proper equalization, so I purge
air from the BCD and end up, you guessed it, back on the bottom, with muck
flying all over, making it impossible to see.

The pool is so much different from the lake. Not just the heat, or
extra gear you don’t have (wetsuit), but there is just something about it that
is less friendly and “easy” then the pool. To be expected I suppose.

Tomorrow we were supposed to head back to the pool, but it’s closed or
something, so we’re going someplace else. A camp or something. I assume that
that means we’ll do the open water part of the last couple of modules first,
and then head to the pool for the final pool component. Not sure how that’s
going to work with the muck and grim that is so easily picked up from the
ground by your boots and gear. Huge kudos to Wayne (and Cuv) for being the
ones to wash the gear out tonight for us tomorrow.