Saturday, November 3, 2012

Grandma Jane's Big, Brave and Awesome Day

During our first evening on Maui we talked to the hotel concierge about scuba opportunities offered by the hotel, and found out that they offer a FREE scuba discovery class twice a day in a special 10ft training pool at the hotel.  Jane steeled herself and agreed to give it a try. The class started at 10am, and took about an hour.  They had a 20 minute classroom session first, in which Jane did her best to not be too frightened by all the terminology and physics and such, and she only got misty-eyed once. Then we went into the pool and practiced skills like clearing a mask, taking your regulator out of your mouth and clearing it, sharing air, and a little buoyancy. All in three feet of water, and then again at 8 feet. Jane did great with the skills, but struggled a bit with depth, attitude and motion control underwater. After that class she was sort of okay with the idea of scuba in general, but felt like she'd like to try it all again later in the day once she had calmed down. We came back at 1:30pm, but this time, instead of a complete repeat, Derrick (her long-haired Hawaiian dive instructor) just took her back into the pool 1:1 and reviewed the skills again. This time she was a lot more confident, and when we came out of the pool, she was just barely brave enough to want to try an open-water dive from the beach 50 yards a way.  We loaded up the cart with fresh tanks, and headed off to the beach.  Jane was still nervous when we entered the water, but we waded out about chest deep, put on our fins, inflated our buoyancy compensators, and kicked out about 30 yards to a shallow reef. We planted a dive buoy, and submerged into about 8 feet of water and first, which got gradually deeper as we kicked around until we were at a max depth of 19 feet. The water was 80 degrees. Jane seemed to grow more confident as we continued exploring the reef. We stayed down 50 minutes, and for the other divers in the family, she was using a 50 cuft tank and only used 1000psi, so she's a natural for sure.  When we broke the surface she gave a huge whoop of joy like it was the most amazing thing she'd ever seen and done, and asked if we can do it again tomorrow. I'm sure we'll figure out how to work in another dive for her before the trip is over. The pictures below are a split between the training pool and the beach dive (flat concrete bottom = pool).

 First breaths on a regulator
Practicing sharing air with instructor's secondary air supply
Down at 8 feet in the dive pool
First laps

In the ocean just off the beach
Cool sea urchin
Randy and Jane (probably not Christmas Card worthy)
Live sea urchin
They come when you snap your fingers!
Cruising over the reef
 Everything is "okay"
Jane's instructor Derrick



scooping it up said...

I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. So proud of you Mom!!!!! AMAZING!

scooping it up said...

the kids said "Go Grandma!" Yemisrach says "fantastic!" Mihret says "I love it!" Jane says "Good job!" Mark says "Pooy diapers!" (he also said when watching the video "hey Grandma said Hi to me!"

Jarom and Melissa said...

Nice work, mom.

Grandma Pearl said...

I'm so proud of you. What an awesome experience.
Thanks Randy fr being so tender with her and heelping her do a new adventure in the ocean. (I'm) jealous, wish I was as brave.

Jarom and Melissa said...

Way to go, Jane! I can see how that would be intimidating at first, but it looks like you're a natural. Looks like you had an amazing experience and glad you were able to get a one on one so you were more comfortable doing it. Again, nice work!