Well, I've got two dives under my belt in Roatan, Honduras and it's a great high to be doing something like that here. We took off our masks at 20 feet down a couple days ago, as a part of the certification program, and it was a pretty unnatural feeling! I am not really all that used to shutting off air circulation from my nose, so I will usually take in some water and choke a little...always fun...but I stayed on the bottom and our instructor said it was "good that you fought it...you have to learn how to fight that, so that was a good experience for you." For those that don't dive, this is a necessary part of the certification because you have to know what to do in case your mask is knocked off 60 feet down. You can't just swim up and put it back on...that's when you run into trouble because of the nitrogen levels in your blood...the science of it all is just as fun to learn about!
My diving partner on the ship is Orly, the bass player from the Legends show. He's a cool cat (great player too!) and gets all the skills terribly easy (I did just learn that he's dove before so it doesn't make me feel so bad...haha). It usually takes me a bit longer to do any of the skills and I hope I'm not dragging down his experience. Our instructor is great...a German guy named Jürgen...and he's super patient with our learning process. He's very thorough and doesn't accept half-assed skill completion from either of us. If it's not done exactly the way he does it, he makes us start over and do it until we understand (sometimes, it's 5 or 6 times in repetition because we missed a small detail that other instructors would probably gloss over). I totally appreciate that he actually cares about "the right way" to do things, but I do find it funny when trying to communicate details underwater that were not previously discussed...always a challenge.
I am getting to drum on the ship now, sometimes having to sacrifice time at a port or just waking up super early. Glad that things are coming together in that department...I do still need a double kick pedal to work on that stuff though. I'm this close to buying another...maybe a DW9000? I'm a little tired of the Iron Cobra's feel...I just wish those things weren't so pricey!
I got to talk to Annette last night and she bought a plane ticket to come out in mid-February! I'm psyched! She is coming out for the Costa Maya/Roatan/Cozumel run, so I'm hoping to be Scuba certified by then so we can do that at one of the ports! I'm glad she was able to work it out with her new job...too bad she can't stay for 2 months, but who can do that these days? Anyways, just glad she'll make it out!!!
'Til next time...