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Hafa Adai from Guam

Discussion in 'Introductions and Greets' started by idoru99, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. idoru99

    idoru99 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Guam
    Good morning, everyone.

    TL; DR: Diver in Guam, just about to hit 100 dives after re-certification in March 2018.

    This may be a little long, so i gave you a the gist above.

    I initially got OW certified while in Spring Break in 1999 in Cancun. The waters where I certified we so clear, we could see the bottom from the boat and warm enough to only need swim trunks (this comes into play later on). Unfortunately, due to our departure flight, we didn't have the time to make any other dives after certification. About a year and a half later in late 2000, I was on a Navy ship deployment and one of my roommates was a diver and started setting up dives in our proposed port visits and invited me along, yes he knew I only had 4 total dives, but we'd be only going guided dives so "you'll be fine."

    Our fist port visit turns out to be Valletta, Malta. We had two dives scheduled from the same shore site, a ship about 100 or so yards from the shore (divemaster knew my cert level and said we'd break my 60 limit by a little, but we wouldn't go into the ship only outside) followed by a dive along the shore looking at some rock formations and something the divemaster called " the chimney." After arrival, we gear up, check our gear and giant stride off the asphalt into the water....COLD!!!! Holy crap! I knew it was going to be colder than Cancun, but this was ridiculous! Didn't feel like the wetsuit did anything for me. Took a few minutes to get over that. After we were ready, we dropped and started swimming out to the ship, viz wasn't great, nothing like I remembered from Cancun. After about 3 minutes of swimming, the bottom of the ocean dropped out from underneath us which was disconcerting to me as I could no longer see the bottom, just dark blue nothingness. At the same tiime, a small boat traversed above us. Nope!! Screw this!! I'm not doing this dive! I surfaced (yes, I left the divemaster and the group, I know I screwed that up). Divemaster followed and made sure I was ok. I told him I wasn't going and to take my other buddies without me. I swam back to the entry point (he offered to come with me, I declined as I didn't want to screw my friends) and got out of the water and waited and decided I still wanted to go on the second dive. As long as the divemaster and my buddies allowed me to join. They did.

    At least I was ready for cold water this time. We briefed the dive, got in, got ready and dropped for our second dive. We tooled around the shore's rock formations and looked around a bit. I don't remember anything before or after the chimney. About half-way through the dive (I think), divemaster found the entrance to the chimney, which was a vertical swim-through that rose about 15 feet or so from the bottom entrance to the upper exit. Divemaster went in first, since he had the dive light. Once we were all in, the divemaster turned off the light. WTF! Dark!! I could be wrong, but I don't remember anything about turning off the light inside the chimney, I may have missed that portion of the briefing, I honestly don't remember hearing anything about it. Anyway, all I could see was the small amount of light coming through the exit above us. I decided I didn't want to stay in there anymore and made for the exit. My buoyancy sucked and I hit the top of the exit, which caught me up by my first stage for a second or two, I got free and exited. I didn't feel all that panicked and no one mentioned on the surface, we just finished the dive and left.

    That was my last dive. I decided to hang up my (rental) fins. A couple years later I took my skydiving instead. We did try another dive while we were in Bahrain, was supposed to be an oyster dive, but a sand storm kept us out the water and I never thought of putting on a BCD again.

    Fast forward 18 years...my wife and I are living in Guam and she says she wants to get certified. I asked her if I could join. I figured it'd been almost 20 years, maybe it's been long enough. I'll give it a shot. If I don't like it, I won't continue. So, I signed us up for OW class. I guess I technically didn't need it, I still had my card from last time, but I also knew that it'd been so long, wouldn't hurt and probably very helpful to retake (a few people here told me to just do refresh, I didn't listen and just retook OW). Since certification in March, I'm in the water almost every weekend, have a small group of friends that I dive with quite a bit. I'm just about to hit 100 dives, will actually hit that in Hawaii this weekend, as long as my sinuses clear up.

    This time, I'm really enjoying diving and I'm looking forward to finding places in the States, when i get back next year. I'm really happy I found a great instructor here and great friends that like to dive as much as I do.

    Sorry this was long (I did warn you :wink: ).
    NYCNaiad and tridacna like this.
  2. NYCNaiad

    NYCNaiad Dive babble all day long Staff Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NYC
    Welcome to the board! It sounds like you had quite a crazy beginning to your dive career. I'm so glad you gave diving another try. And I think it was a smart move to get re-certified.

    What do you like best about diving in Guam aside from the warm water? :wink:
  3. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
    Welcome to ScubaBoard and congratulations on getting certified.

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