Getting Certified in the Bahamas (Padi Diving)

“Hello! Welcome to Stuart Cove’s dive shop!” The first words I heard on my journey to becoming a diver. My family and I walked into the shop and registered for my and my brother’s dive lessons. The first thing we did was a bunch of medical forms and various paperwork. Then we got our gear and went to the pool. After learning how to put on our gear properly we jumped into the pool. The first confined water dive was fairly basic. We reviewed skills that we had learned in the e-learning section. We were also taught new skills. We did the rest of the confined water dives that day, they ranged from easy skills to more advanced skills that we couldn’t complete in confined water. The next day we dove in the ocean.

Breath, pause, breath, pause. Everything moved in slow motion. Sluggishly, I swam onward, breathing deeply, looking around me. That was my first dive in the ocean. I was amazed; I had only seen coral in aquariums and models.

Diving felt dream-like, nothing felt real under the water, but it was very very real. I felt weightless, like I was in space. However, it took a few more dives in order to get used to maneuvering in a three dimensional environment. After riding on a boat for a half hour we geared up and jumped in the water. After our descent we, my family and GG our brilliant instructor, gathered in a circle on the bottom and practiced certain skills that we had to do in the ocean. For example, I had to take a deep breath and take my regulator out of my mouth, breathing small bubbles, I let go of my regulator. Then, leaning to my right side I windmilled my arm and found the regulator, I placed it back in my mouth and cleared it by blowing forcefully into the regulator. I then breathed a cautious breath. Luckily I had successfully cleared it of water, I was able to breathe normally. After exploring the wreck that we were diving near, we surfaced and got back on the boat.

The second dive that day was much like the first, except we were at the two James Bond wrecks from Never Say Never Again and Thunderball.

That night I slept very well.

The next day we dove on “The Wall.” The Wall is essentially a, well, wall. It goes from 60 feet to 6,500 feet. It starts shallow, then it becomes a void. We dove along the wall after doing skills and it was freaky. There were fish everywhere and corals growing along the wall, it was very impressive.

The last open water dive we needed for our certification was amazing. We dove on a huge natural wreck of a transport ship. We first had to do a few final skills like a swim test, but after that we were able to descend onto the ship. We could see inside the hull of the ship because there was a large hole on the top of it. There was coral growing inside the ship and on the hull. We even saw a shark swim by the ship! This dive was the best so far.

Author: Bryce Hodges

Hi! My name is Bryce Hodges. I’m 16. I am very excited to go around the world. I’m most excited for visiting Morocco again and seeing a friend of mine in England. Before the trip I was a freshman at York School, and when we get back I will be reenrolled as a sophomore! I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be staying with my class, but I would rather travel for a year than graduate “on-time.” I have taken Chinese classes, and I went to Morocco for four weeks in order to study Arabic in-country. I hope to use these language skills that I have gained during our trip around the world. When I’m not traveling I like to do things like play video games, listen to music, and sometimes I enjoy creating my own music. I’m a mountain biker and I will be taking every opportunity that I have to mountain bike in various places. Thank you for finding and reading this blog!