On Day 2 in Maui, I went SCUBA diving for the first time ever! My time started with a lesson in the pool where we learned about all the equipment. We also learned what to do if our mask filled with water, if we lost our mouth piece, if our tank ran out of oxygen... all those scary things. Then, we tried it out in the pool. This was the same pool Alexandra was swimming in - well, she was around the corner. (That's me on the left in profile.)
We then put on all our gear and our tanks and walked the short walk to the beach. We got in the water, inflated our suits, got on our back and put on our flippers. Then, we swam out deeper. The deepest our dive went was 25 feet.
I was kind of disappointed that I hadn't thought to bring our underwater camera, but I was also grateful I didn't have one more thing to worry about. I was actually quite nervous and wasn't sure I could do this! But, it all worked out fine and I will do it again any time I get the chance! I wish my guide/photographer would have taken more photos (he only used 12 of 24) and especially taken more of the coral, fish, etc. But, I'm grateful for what I have! (And, I'll just have to go diving again!!!) Above is some coral. We collected 3 nice size pieces of this white coral on the shore. We didn't see any shells - just coral.
Me with a large anchor. The instructor said a boat had found this deeper and they'd brought it in closer. I'm not sure if it was specifically for the divers or what, but I enjoyed seeing it. It is covered in coral and possibly other things.
A photo of just the anchor - you can see the coral growing on it.
I meant to look this up, but I think I'm holding a sea urchin. It was fat and puffy, but hard and bumpy on the surface. The instructor gently picked it up and handed it to me and I was impressed with how he put it back exactly where he found it.
I was amazed at how the only thing you hear while you're diving is your own breathing. (It's actually quite peaceful.) Well, actually twice I heard myself give out a muffled yell. :-) Once when we spotted the sea turtle and once when I thought I saw an eel, but it wasn't. Both times I felt kind of silly as no one could hear me. And, it's a little frustrating when you can't get anyone's attention to show them something, like a neat fish I saw.
Here's me with the sea turtle! That was the coolest thing I saw and it actually happened just minutes into the 45 minute dive. I actually got to pet him! (Wish that would have been in the photo.) He was covered in green algae or something. Just a really neat experience!!! In fact, my souvenir for our trip was a carved sea turtle.
Me again on top of the coral reef. There was lots of coral everywhere we swam. Besides coral and the sea turtle, I saw lots of fish, though none bigger than a foot or so. The colors were beautiful as we weren't very deep. I also saw lots of sea urchins, though very different from the one I'm holding. Most of them had lots of long spikes and they were hidden within the coral. There were beautiful colors - purple, red... I wish I had photos!
My instructor/photographer motioned for me to make this sign. :-) (If you enlarge the photo, you can see a little black fish with a white tail under my belly in this photo.)
Me again. I wasn't sure what to do as you really can't smile. :-) (In this photo, you can see some more colorful coral in the foreground.)
Me in the front with my 2 diving buddies in the background. They were from Seattle, I believe. He'd went diving once before but it was her first time, too.
The rest of the day we spent on the beach. This was only our 2nd day and our last day of nice weather, though we had some nice weather moments. Besides running in the waves, Alexandra and I spent some time making sand art. The sand is just perfect for making sand art. I even taught Alexandra how to make a tunnel in the sand - something she'd never done before. (This is a photo of my starfish.)