Joe, my husband, and Sheryl, my game-for-most things friend, are each studying to take their PADI Open Water Diving Certification.
This has involved long sessions over a book, many frowns from Sheryl as she has attempted to get to grips with unfamiliar concepts such as physics and the watching of a DVD produced to bring to life what the book teaches.
It has also involved some physical preparations on both their parts. Joe has had to change his medication and get his physician’s approval to dive. Sheryl has had to get over a fear of getting her face wet and they have both had to learn to snorkel. Between them they have worked very hard to overcome potential problems to get them to a point where learning to dive is a viable proposition.
Now Sheryl, who bravely took a resort dive on her recent birthday, snorkels with confidence, her face in the water and her eyes open, not screwed up as if waiting for the worst to happen. There are lots of turtles in the waters around Anguilla at the moment and she never tires of seeing them. Joe has learnt what to do, or rather, what not to do with his arms whilst snorkelling and is much more confident.
They have to wait until the weekend after next for their course and they are using the intervening time to practice for their swimming and floating test. This is giving them the worst headache as they each seem to think that this is the hardest part of the course. It is true that for Joe this could well be the case as he usually sinks when he tries to float but, lately, he has been concentrating on this and now floats quite well. They have to float for ten minutes so they are timing themselves to make sure that they can keep up for the required period.
In the meantime, we have been going out and snorkelling in Shoal Bay, just along from our home. Yesterday we saw a baby Lobster, a small Turtle, a Nassau Grouper, lots of large Blue Tang and a tiny Flounder all within a few feet of the shore. It was a good session indeed!
Keep reading this blog for updates on how Joe and Sheryl are getting along.