So today I finally do it. I have been planning to do it more or less all my adult life but the mystical planets that create opportunity in life were never aligned until I came to Okinawa. Here these planets are queuing up.
The process started by meeting up with Jan a couple of weeks ago to starting the training. Jan runs the school.
He has a long confucian kinda beard pouring out of his chin and an enormous metal ring in his earlobe. I think he is 23. (This is wrong see comment below.)
We did theory stuff and I passed! Last week we did shallow water stuff and today we went deep. We met on a sea wall in the middle of a very built up part of Okinawa, strapped on the gear I bought last weekend and dove er dived. Upstairs; concrete sea wall, concrete apartment buildings, gas stations, supermarkets, huge air force base; downstairs you are living in the most exotic aquarium you have seen in any Chinese restaurant.
It is astonishing.
You have weights that drag you down but the surprise for me is a waistcoat thing called a BCD. This is connected to your air tank such that you can inflate or deflate it so as to increase or decrease your bouyancy. Once you get it set up right you hang in the water at the depth you want and use breathing in or out to alter your depth. Breath out you go down, breathe in you go up. It is a great feeling as you do not have to move your arms or legs at all allowing you to concentrate on what you are looking at.
What you are looking at is amazing coral, every color, texture and shape imaginable; the most exotic fish, from 18 color angel fish, little brilliant blue things, friendly sea snakes, to barracuda.
Jan is a great instructor, firm on the important stuff but essentially lets you get on with it.
Check out his Facebook page:
We do two 50 minute dives with a few drills but mainly cruising around the reef. Said reef drops down like a cliff and we go about 60 feet down. The cliff face is covered in soft corals that wave in the current and twitch and shudder when you touch.
So at last I have done it. I want to do it again.