Jonathan has been pushing to get certified in scuba diving for a while and I decided that it was something that I would do with him. I really enjoy swimming in the sea, and it can definitely be a great father-son adventure.
Even though you might read about it later, at this point…. the plan is to take the scuba certification during our upcoming trip to the beach and thus make our first dives. It’s probably a generational thing, but I’m still not confortable about publishing future trips so I’ll just write and publish later.
So far so good, today we had our confined dives and theory class. Tomorrow we will have our first sea trials. I believe we will be going to the MUSA in Cancun. I’m excited about the process especially because I see the effort an dedication Jonathan is putting into it.
It’s 6 am, we’re not supposed to be up for about 90 more minutes but I have to admit I’m nervous. Even though we are talking the necessary precautions I’ll be taking one of my two most valued treasures ten meters underwater.
We got fitted with our gear, wet suits, fins,… and we got into our little boat with a couple of other people and guides to head on to Isla Mujeres MUSA and the Manchones (spots) reef.
In our first dive, we got to see sculptures sunk in the middle of the ocean, two VW beetles ( a new one and an old one) and we swam alone multiple statues mostly of people. I struggled a bit maintaining neutral buoyancy and my mouth felt dry but other than that everything went perfect ( we were down for about 30 minutes)
For our second dive we went to a nearby reef and the view was different in that we saw a lot of coral and lots and lots of tropical fish. Patricio, our instructor, also took a few pictures of us ( I will share some briefly) so you can appreciate the beauty.
It’s 6 pm, the first two dives were nothing short of spectacular we descended and saw sculptures ( and VW beetles), reefs, tropical fish, coral,… I’m really happy we did this. Jonathan is also very happy and very excited. Of course at this point I feel like going to sleep for two days but we have two more dives tomorrow on our path to certification.
This afternoon I saw Jona dive again, this time into the diving guide (book). He spent most of the afternoon reviewing it, and is really into it. I’m really proud of the effort and seriousness he is pouring into this process.
Fast forward another 12 hours, it’s 6 am and even though I slept through I’m now awake feeling similar jitters as yesterday, partly about me, partly about the kid. Probably Jona is feeling the same.
After 15 mins Jona is having “issues” with his contact lenses, frustration starts to brew. I have explained to him… no contacts no scuba (in my opinion, with his vision it is not safe for him to dive without glasses) so he is angry and frustrated. I hope he gets the courage to follow through we’ll know soon enough. After venting and expressing his frustration, Jona decided he was not going to be beat by a contact lense. He got up, went to the mirror and got them on in the first try. That’s my boy. Scuba diving day 2 here we go.
We got on the boat and headed toward a reef, I believe it was the herradura reef close to punta Cancun and proceeded to dive. For me and Jonathan everything went aok except my air ran out before plan and instead of just ascending my dive instructor plugged my into his auxiliary air valve and we continued the dive. This part was hard for me because I couldn’t see Jonathan ( he was behind the instructor who was right behind me) and that made me very nervous. Even though there were three other divers with much much more experience than me it was hard for me to “delegate” that responsibility.
During the break between dives, Jonathan asked me for more “space” and “trust” and I realized that I need to trust him more and that I have to think of him not only as my kid, he has to become my partner in the water, and so I have to delegate more and he has to be up for the challenge. In this sport it’s a two way street I’m there for him and he’s there for me.
During our second dive I made it a point to give Jona more space and my main comment was that he has to be more “aware of me” because at some moments I felt he was so focused on following the guide he could’ve forgotten I was there.
The first two dives were great but, once you experience the deeper dives you realize it’s a completely different ballgame.
Yesterday we sat down to finish the 50 question written exam, ( Jonathan read through the entire 250 page book in three days) and if you paid attention to the book and the instructor the exam is pretty straight forward so if all goes according to plan the open water certification should be in the bag.
Jonathan seems very interested in progressing his diving skills but I’ve made clear that he’ll have to demonstrate absolute mastery before going any further and that means experience.
I’ve read multiple reviews about Solo Buceo, the company which is working with us on the certification and recommended by the resort. I agree with most reviews online. On one side their boats could use a little bit more upgrading and their operation could be a little more structured.
On the other side I believe they are at a point we’re they know each one of their customers. Patricio, our instructor, was always very focused on our safety and on making sure we have a great experience. The nice thing about Solo Buceo is that it looks like a company with a beating heart. (Also we hired from them the video and the pictures and we are definitely satisfied, they make for a great memory)
As we are sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to depart (it’s only a three hour delay….) I’m putting together the last finishing touches on this blog entry.