Day 4: My First Open Water Dives
With most of my day free, I enjoy a lazy morning, reading my "Tropical Plants of Costa Rica" and sipping coffee. Mid-morning, I decide to venture to Playa Cocalito, a small beach about 15 minutes from Jinetes de Osa. Before I leave, I am given some rough directions to follow the trail, turn left and go down hill. Needless to say, I actually arrived without any wrong turns. The beach was deserted and protected by rocky outcroppings on each end. I enjoyed some tranquil beach time and returned to Jinetes de Osa in time for lunch.
I know that I have to do my open water diving skills today and I am a bit nervous. There is one skill in particular that I am really nervous about; completely removing your mask while under water and putting it back on and clearing all the water out of it. I am a nose breather and have hard time breathing through the regulator and not also pulling water through my nose. So we will see.
When the boat returns from picking up the guests who toured Corcovado National Park (like my tour from yesterday), Greg and I will head out.
The boat arrives around 2:30 pm and off we go in search of calm water. I squeeze into my wet suit and put all my gear together. We do the final check of our air pressure, quick releases, etc. and are ready to go. For the first time I roll back into the water from the edge of the boat with all my gear on. This was something else I had always been nervous about...
Greg said on the count of 3, so I had no time to think. 1, 2, 3 -- and back I go with a splash and WOW, how fun! I love it.
We lowered ourselves just below the surface and I get that feeling of "oh no! I can't do this" and I quicky re- surface. Greg reminds me that we are 2 feet under water and that, Yes, I can do it. So down we go again and I take 3 relaxed breaths this time and I am fine. Ahhh.
So down, down, down we go. We swim around for a bit and see a school of fish and not much else, its just a sandy bottom. We are here only to practice my skills, the reefs and fish are further out at Cano Island and are for another days adventures. I complete all the necessary skills, including the removal and replacement of my mask while under water. So glad to be done with that!
When we return to shore and I had a big smile on my face. I feel like I'm over the learning hump of diving. I am more comfortable now and looking forward to completing my skills to earn my open water certification.
I reward myself with a sweet pina colada and sit down to dinner. Fresh, home made bread was served on cutting boards with a deliciously peppered garbanzo bean soup as a appetizer. The mood of the Jinetes de Osa is as if we were at someone's house in their living room having a family dinner, except that there is wait staff to serve you and meet your every need. Red snapper accompanied by rice and veggies healthily feeds us all.
Tonight were are also treated to an after dinner movie; The Imax's "Blue Planet" movie is projected onto a large screen (a white sheet) and we enjoyed our after dinner coffee while learning about the ecology of our wonderful, beautiful planet.