In Goa I enjoyed my first experience scuba diving. PADI, an accreditation organization in the diving world, created a program called Discover Scuba for people who are interested in ‘exploring underwater’ but are not ready for a 3-day certification course. Participation in Discover Scuba requires no prior diving knowledge or skills. I was a perfect fit.
On our way to the first dive site, the staff taught me hand signals for various fish we would see underwater and walked me through a few skills. I learned how to clear my mask and regulator when water enters and how to equalize the pressure in my ears during a dive. Then, I was dressed in my wet suit, mask and snorkel, BC (to keep me floating when above water), and regulator. Finally, I learned how to enter the water by falling backwards off the boat.
I went on two dives. During both dives I was 1×1 with an instructor holding his arm while he steered us through the sea. My responsibilities were to kick a small amount and enjoy the scenery. After overcoming mental barriers to breathing underwater and a sense of panic at submerging myself, I become comfortable underwater and enjoyed each 20 minute dive.
I loved seeing schools of fish, touching the sea floor, and feeling weightless. An aquarium visit will never be the same and I think there will be more diving in my future.
Finally, I hear Minnesota is experiencing a cold spell. As you start your Friday morning, here are some images to bring a little extra warmth into your day.
I rode another overnight sleeper bus to travel from Hampi to Goa. This sleeper bus was packed with the air conditioning on high. Blankets were available for 70 rupees, or a little more than $1 USD. I struggled to sleep on this bus. The reward for staying up all night was seeing the sunrise as we arrived in the city.
Sand and sun never gets old.
Beach bumming with Colin, a friend I met in the dorm in Mumbai.
Morning walks and evening sunsets were my main activities in this town. I stayed at Anjuna Beach, a beach in the northern part of Goa. There are more than 50 beaches in this state and driving from north to south Goa takes over 3 hours.
Some images of the beach life at Anjuna.
Another good day sitting at the beach with my Kindle. Luke and I met in Varanasi and traveled together to Mumbai. We re-connected in Goa.
I said yes to one selfie request and this photo shoot was the result. Two of the men wore matching orange man tanks and board shorts because it is popular to dress like your best friend.
Diving was a great opportunity to enjoy water and sun away from the beach plus see more of the Arabian Sea. This diving excursion took place in the waters off the coast of Vasco da Gama, one of the southern beach communities in Goa.
Wearing a wet suit and weight belt before my first dive. The oxygen tank weighed more than 30 lbs so I squatted to balance the tank on a chair.
This was an incredibly special Face Time call on Christmas Eve (also the first night of Hanukkah) in the U.S. I visited with my family! Now if only Face Time could send me some of the amazing food they all enjoyed 🙂