This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.
I have breathed under water for the first time! I have to say that it was scary in many ways. Not trusting the equipment was a minor one, losing control and freaking out was also a minor one. Well, I mean, drowning is not a very pleasant way to die and there are many ways that could happen while being trapped under water. But being in only 7 feet of water was reassuring enough for me so I wasn’t too anxious about that. But what was the most scary for me was the breathing part. The first minute of breathing in the regulator was hard and I didn’t feel like I could breathe normally and had to try really hard to get air. Then it turned out that my regulator was set to minus instead of plus. That helped a lot, but the breathing was still hard. Normally you don’t think of your breathing, but underwater you have to think of each and every one of them. At least I had to because that breathing didn’t come naturally to me at all. It was like normal, but it took more energy to both breath in and out. Weird feeling. But I got used to it in the end. My biggest concern for next weekend when we are going in the ocean and will be to be under water for 30 minutes consecutively without going to the surface. We are only going down to 25 feet, but I will be nervous about being so far away from the surface. I’m sure it will all be alright if I just stay calm and breathe.
We were in the pool for so long today, for about 6 h with a 45min lunch break in the middle. That is a long time. You could say that I am pretty exhausted right now and think that that is a valid reason for not doing anything tonight more than eating and baking (oatmeal cookies without butter, they turned out pretty good, and I don’t feel bad, because I probably burned a ton of calories today). My shoulders hurt like hell and smart Rachel figured out why. Carrying all that equipment is hard on your body. It might not be hard in the water, but on land, whoa! Heavy stuff. On google it said about 50 lbs. And then I had a weight belt of 10 lbs on top of that. I was carrying a lot today, so no wonder why I had to take many painkillers. They are starting to work now so I am not in too much pain right now.
Anyway, we did a lot of exercises under water, starting easy and then going to harder stuff. First we were in the shallow end of the pool where we just sat under water breathing. Then we tried to take it out of our mouths under water, finding the second stage, while all the time releasing a little bit of air so we don’t overexpand our lungs or something with pressure and going up and so on. Then we swam on the bottom of the pool, under the lanes where people were swimming, to the deep end. We did more exercises with removing the second stage (which is the breathing part), getting help from our diving buddies’ extra second stage, we even had the instructors cutting off our air supply while under water so we had to signal to our buddy that we were out of air and get them to help us with their secondary second stage. That was scary before we actually did it! Everything sounded scary when they described it, but wasn’t bad at all once we did it. All of it actually felt pretty safe.
We of course practiced to assemble and disemble our bcd (the floathing vest) and all other gears twice. We practiced neutral buoyancy (which is hovering in the water weightless). That was very very hard! But right before we were done I actually got it and got a special comment from the instructor afterwards, yay, confidence boost! We also practiced to remove our mask underwater while still breathing and swimming around. That was also scary when he told us about it, and everytime I removed mine I thought it was scary honestly. It is not normal to remove the mask by yourself while underwater. But I didn’t get too much water in my nose, the bubbles bothered me the most about that exercise, haha! What else did we do? We tried some freediving and breathing in the regulator when the air was just pushing out. That was also extremely scary before I actually tried it. It was refreshing to breathe for some reason, cold air, haha.
I had a really great time today, but I am tired, and earlier tonight when I was watching the last episode of season 4 of Once Upon a Time and almost fell asleep I had the breathing/bubble sound in my head. I wonder how well I will sleep tonight. I will probably dream of bubbles!
Instead of study I also repainted my nails. 6 hours in the water kinda made it all fall off. I got a new top coat in the mail yesterday, it’s a flaky glittery thing, and on top of black polish it turned out pretty cool. Now I want a mirror chrome polish, that looks really cool!