Two additional dives today with a similar routine as yesterday. At breakfast a bit before 7 AM and then back to the room for final preparations to be at the dock by 8 AM to check out the gear and load it on the boat by 8:30. The boat departs the dock at 8:45. It then a short ride of 15 to 20 minutes to the first location and a short dive briefing of where we are, what the conditions below are and what we can expect to see and we're in the water by approximately 9:15.
I've added an additional two pounds to my ballast weight since yesterday I had a tendency to float a bit toward the end of the dive when the tank is getting empty. The additional weight seemed to help. I understand that as I become more experienced I may want to remove a couple of pounds in the future.
It's pretty neat to do a "giant stride" off the back of the boat with you BC inflated while holding your mask and regulator in place and bobbing back to the surface, then paddling away to make room for the divers behind you. To descend, you slowly allow air to escape from your BC to slowly descend vertically, almost as if you were in an elevator. All around you, you can clearly see other divers also in the vertical position also descending in the clear blue water. It's all a very surreal experience.
While on the boat, we had been instructed where to regroup below the surface while waiting for all of the divers to arrive. Divers are always paired with a buddy for safety reasons. Today me and my two brothers were my buddies. It's really pretty comforting to know that we're all together and that my older brother Ed that has over 100 dives at Bonaire is watching.
We leave the shallows and drop off is near by and is a vertical wall where the water changes to a deep blue. As we swim north the craggy wall is on my right and filled with all kinds of sea life and all of it is new to me. It's hard to even identify what I'm seeing simply because I can't compare it to anything I seen before. Also I'm trying to pay attention to keeping my body a position that will reduce the drag as I motor along and pay attention to my tank pressure and my depth.
When my air pressure indicated a bit less that 1/2, I indicated to Ed and Greg that I needed to start the return trip and the three of us reversed direction and head back while the majority of the divers continued on. The return trip the wall was on our left as I lead the trio back. I made an error however and stayed deep along the wall and should have gone to more shallow waters where it would have be pretty easy to spot the board. I ended up shooting past the boat and pretty soon felt Ed's not so gentle thumping on my tank indicating that I had missed the boat.
As we boarded the boat, he had some words with me using a tone that only an older brother can muster telling me that I really needed to watch what I was doing much more closely.
We were able to get some really nifty underwater shots at the link below: