Location: Taha'a, Society Islands

The deep dive dance is a particular sweaty jig one must do in order to successfully put on a wetsuit. It includes one-legged jumps, jump squats, sweating, complaining about putting the suit on, sweating some more, really evaluating if it will be worth it, a few more jumps- then with the final zip, the feeling of pure satisfaction…along with a lot more sweat. Today many of us endured the highs and lows of the deep dive dance. Before I further explain the importance of today’s dives, I must highlight the delicious pumpkin bread Amanda prepared for us this morning, waking up to the smell of any kind of bread baking is always a win. It was a perfect start to the clear, beautiful day in Taha’a. After breakfast cleanup, we started to prepare our dive gear for the first dive of the day, the first of our Advanced Open Water course, the deep dive. We descended to about 60 ft alongside a couple of instructors and our dive buddies. My dive buddy, Evan, and I spent our safety stop ascension with some quick games of chopsticks and rock, paper, scissors, where he beat me in both. After breaking down our dive gear, we were all pretty starving for lunch and was again treated to a great meal prepared by Amanda and Frank. The purpose of our second dive of the day was to work on navigational skills underwater. This included different exercises working with our dive buddy, one using the compass to navigate in the right direction and the other to count fin kicks. I particularly enjoyed this dive because it was cool to communicate underwater using few hand gestures but enough for Garrison to understand what I was saying. At one point we were both laughing at something stupid and you couldn’t see our smiles through the regulator but we both were expelling so many bubbles and moving slightly up and down.

Today was a quieter day as many of us were pretty wiped from both dives. A couple of us were able to get some homework done before a barbecue chicken dinner (or lentil dish for the vegetarians). We will finish the night with our second marine biology class with Margaux. I’m so grateful each and every day for the beauty that surrounds me and the people I share this boat with. We are all so blessed to have this opportunity and it’s been so fun getting to know people who were strangers to me just over a week ago, both staff and crew included.

Pictured:

Kari and Evan between dives, helping with lunch cleanup.
Lucy living her best life as a gopher.
Daniel, Kari, Evan and Frank working on some chapter reviews before our navigational dive.
Half of us getting ready for dive #2.
Shelby, Amanda, and Lucy sweating Tim up the rig.