I think I caught the scuba diving bug because after I got the initial certification, I’ve been working to figure out how I can get more certifications and more diving into my schedule! I cautiously signed up to do my PADI Advanced Open Water certification dives on October 6-7 fearing that it may be very cold by then. However, as those in Chicagoland can attest, the temperatures hit 85+ degrees each of the two days. The water wasn’t as cold as I thought–about 70 degrees at the surface.
For Advanced Open Water certification, you have to do five dives. The first three are mandatory for everyone: Underwater Navigation, Deep, and Night. Then, you pick two more from a list of 5-7 (can’t remember exactly) others. My two electives were: Peak Performance Buoyancy and Wreck Diving. Of the five dives, my favorite was the Deep Dive. It was in a place in Haigh Quarry referred to as “the hole”. It’s a relatively small place in the back of the quarry (read: long surface swim) that goes down to a platform at 80 feet. As expected, the water got quite cold at depth and the usual cloudiness in the water made it pretty dim down there as well. Those carrying computers reported that the water temperature at 80 feet was 49 degrees. We stayed there for a few minutes and did a few games to test ourselves for nitrogen narcosis, a common condition at deeper depths. I wasn’t experiencing any signs during my test–not sure about the others.
I managed to convince my wife to let me go on a dive trip with a dive buddy (that I’ve known since grade school). We go to Cozumel on December 14th–less than 2 months away!
Congratulations to all my dive buddies in the Advanced OW class–we all passed. Thanks also to Eunice Z (our esteemed dive mistress and instructor) as well as Divemaster Ted who was great at getting us all down to the cold depths.