Chad and I high-fiving like the people in the dorky PADI videos. Really. We're not actually dorks.
Even the underwater skills we had to learn – how to find your air hose if it falls out of your mouth, how to breathe using your buddy’s extra mouthpiece, etc. – were more like games than chores. I think the fact that I’ve snorkeled a fair amount helped; it’s easier if you’re already used to breathing with your face in the water and clearing water from the hose just using your breath.
Chad (lying down) demonstrates proper buoyancy control for the instructor while I (with the pink weight belt) monitor my air supply.
The truly scary part was getting out to the boat. The pier had partially collapsed (three years ago, a local guy told me) and never been repaired.
Going out and back required scrambling down one side using the gaps between boards as a ladder, walking over on three wobbly planks, and climbing up the other side. This got even trickier when the tide was up or somebody had dripped oil on the boards.
Dive instructor Sarah walks the planks.
The payoff for all that, of course, was diving. On our last day we went to a pretty cool reef off Tatawa Island, in Komodo National Park. Photos in the next post!