A few months ago, we heard about a shark dive off the island of Beqa, here in Fiji. Tom and I both love to swim and see sharks, so if we were given the opportunity to scuba dive with some of the most dangerous and beautiful sharks in the world, then we are in! Tom suggested that when we got over to Musket Cove, that we get ahold of the local dive shop and get SCUBA ceritifed. The first day we returned to Musket Cove, we walked into the Subsurface Dive Shop and asked what we needed to do and how we needed to do it.
We were first told to register with PADI and complete the online course for the "Open Water Scuba Certification". The online course is basically the classroom side of the certification, and we could complete it at our own pace. After a couple weeks of online courses, we were done and ready for the next step.
Phase two of the certification process was an eight hour pool session. The pool session got us familiar with all the equipment, we took our first breath's using the regulator (which made me feel a bit like I was hyperventilating), and we practiced several life saving procedures under water with the scuba gear on. These life saving items were all done under water, such as: how to clear our mask of water, taking our mask off, putting the mask back on and clearing our mask of water, signaling that we are out of air in our tank and how to switch to our buddies back up regulator. Other important items we practiced was how to properly tow someone in water, how to relieve a muscle crap and more simple items like that.
The third and final phase of our certification was our four open water dives, with our PADI Instructor. During each of our open water dives, we were required to practice some of the life saving procedures we learned in the pool, except this time, we were doing this at a depth of 18 meters (60 feet to you people in the states). Each time we were done with our practices in the water, the instructor allowed us to swim around and enjoy the underwater scenery.
Most of the dives were at a depth of 30 - 60 feet of water. Every dive we did, the water was crystal clear, the visibility was good, and we both noticed that when we were sitting at the bottom of the ocean at a depth of 60 feet and looked up, it really looked like the water was maybe 20 or 30 feet deep, not 60 feet deep. The coral was very pretty and we saw lots of reef fish. On our third dive at an area called "Supermarkets", we were lucky and saw some reef sharks and one bronzy (no Bulls, Whites or Tigers sharks).
So, we are happy to say, that both members of the Tanga crew are SCUBA certified for open water dives to 18 meters. For those that are interested, the names of the dive sites we went to are: Castaway Wall (Camel hump and Seseme Street), Vonu Range and Supermarkets.
Other than that, we haven't been doing any surfing or too much else in the last week since the scuba cert took up most of our time, and now the wind has been blowing a minimum of 20knts for the last 7 days and will continue for the foreseeable future. So chores that would normally get neglected are getting done.