Peder with a D

[plays well with others]

I’m a certified SCUBA diver

Posted by Peder on 22 May 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here but I have two new things to share that I’ve been excited about and that lead to a new post.  First off, WordPress allows you to post by email now, making posting that much easier.  Secondly, I am now a SCUBA diver.

I can’t believe how much fun it was to be out in the water the last couple days.  On each day I went for a morning and afternoon dive, exploring the waters around West Snake Caye, here in southern Belize.  The water temp was around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, visibility was around 20 feet (lots of rivers dump into the area), and there are small reefs surrounding each of the small islands.

After three classroom sessions on the theory of diving, I was well ready to put my knowledge into action.  Our first boat ride was to Abalone Caye, the site of TIDE’s ranger station for the Point Honduras Marine Reserve .  From this location patrols are sent out to find illegal fishing activities and research teams are dispatched.  On the two days I was there, we shared the station with research crews logging lobster populations, noting distribution, gender and size.  Sounds like interesting work – a full day underwater seeking out the crustaceans – and hopefully I’ll have a chance to do that sometime in the future.

During each session we would start with our skills exercises.  These "confined water" dives are usually done in swimming pools, but because of the clarity of the water and the relative lack of currents from reefs, etc., we demonstrated these skills in about 15 ft of salt water.  Afterward we’d go for a little swim in deeper water.  Those would usually last around 30 mins, depending on time and air supply.  Aside from general reef life we saw a school of tarpon and a hunting squid.  Both were amazing.  The tarpons appeared huge and surprised us by swimming right next to us, and the squid stayed right were it was, allowing us to view it as close as five feet.  Amazing.

My instructor was a Czech named Karel Kuran.  He’s a very experienced diver and instructor, having earned his stripes diving and instructing in Key West (Florida), Roatan (Honduras) and Exeter (England).  He’s also a friend and I was happy to be able to learn from a disciplined instructor who I could have a beer with after the dive!


4 Responses to “I’m a certified SCUBA diver”

  1. globetrotteri said

    Congratulations Peder! I’ve always wanted to get certified, but I can’t because of my ears. I’ll be living vicariously through your underwater adventures.

  2. Ian said

    Good work, Peder. I remember seeing a school of tarpon snorkeling off Tobacco Caye that surprised me quite a bit with their mass.

  3. Peder said

    Hey thanks you guys, nice to hear from you!

    Globie, I’ll try take more pictures for my next post, but what’s with your ears?

    Ian, I’ve heard nothing but great things about Tobacco. My next dive will probably be to the Sapodilla Cayes, but who really knows.

    The tarpon were huge. I was checking up on my buddy who was having buoyancy issues. As she appears to be settling in all of a sudden her eyes get huge and she points behind me. There they were, about 15 animals straight away in sight (20′ viz). I was stunned, “Oh my god!” I yell through my regulator. I just floated there as these 3 foot flashes of chrome effortlessly swam to and fro checking us out. Probably about 20-30 animals in total, and they were so stealthy my instructor didn’t even see them. They just sneaked in and sneaked out.

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