05/11/17/Eal Garden at North West Point/8am-2pm
Today we met our instructors at the boat dock to set out for our open water dives 1 and 2. We all boarded AquaTCI’s boat where we set up our gear and got ready for the day. We planned on diving at a depth of 40ft at the reef of North West Point. The water was a lot clearer at this dice site then Coral Gardens and you could almost see the bottom! The newest skill we learned was walking off the boat into the ocean. This made me a little nervous but it was easier then I thought. During the first dive we practiced some of our skills that we learned in the in the ocean. We had to check our weights by descending to the top and floating at eye level and make sure we were buoyant enough. We then all held onto the rope where we slowly descending to the ocean floor. I had to stop every few ft to equalize and help the pressure in my ears.
When we finally got to the bottom we had to complete skills like filling the mask up with water, hovering, using out buddies alternate air source, ascending while saying ahhh, and helping get rid of cramps. Then we went for a dive! It was so amazing seeing all the marine life. While we were practicing our skills a stingray swam by us and it looked so peaceful swimming around. Other organisms we seen:
- Nurse Shark
- Moray Eel (hiding under coral)
- Peacock Flounder (camouflaged-defense mechanism )
- Flamingo Tongue
- Garden Eel
- Squirl Fish
- Parriot Fish
After the first dive, we had to do 3 laps around the boat and tred water for 10 minutes. This was challenging for me because I am not a strong swimmer, but I was able to complete the task. The second dive we went on was a lot smoother for me because I knew what to expect. I noticed on the second dive the water was much cooler then before. On the boat ride home we saw flying fish in the water which was so cool! We saw many more organisms that you can check out on my species identification list!
After diving, we all went together as a class to the fish fry which is a small festival that they have on the island. There was music, food and vendors selling different things. There was a parade which let us in on a little bit of their culture on the island. It was an exhausting day but so much fun!