It was back to La Jolla Shores Saturday, as I made my last two required dives for my Advanced Open Water Certification. The first dive was the Deep Dive, and our dive plan was to head down to 100 feet. That is 10 stories, so it is a pretty significant dive. The kick out was pretty easy, with the water incredibly calm. We made our out to what we expected would be a 40 foot bottom, but when I finally touched down I checked the gauge and discovered I was at 68 feet.
We gathered closer as a group, then headed further down. We finally stopped, and my gauge read an unbelievable 118 feet! We did a quick narc check, which means that Joe (our instructor) held up fingers and made us give the count back to him. Everyone was fine, and we were quickly back on our underwater tour. Being that deep means very little time to explore, but we made the most of it. A few minutes later, and we began our ascent.
After a brief surface interval and a tank swap, we were back into the water. This time, we had three skills to do: (1) swim along a measuring tape for 100 feet to establish a kick count, (2) do a reciprocal compass swim for twenty kicks out and back, and (3) swim a square pattern. All of this was to make sure we are comfortable reading our compass underwater and maintaining direction.
While out there, I saw a really cool banded guitarfish. I found a picture of another one taken at the shores, so you can see what it is I am talking about.
And just like that, I was done. I have completed my five required dives for my advanced certification: enriched air nitrox, peak performance buoyancy, night, deep and navigation. From here, I will start to work on more specialities, ending with my certification as a Master Diver. It's hard to believe I just started diving a few months ago.