Fact: Scuba divers have more fun than regular people.
Fact: The DVDs we had to watch in SCUBA class were a little ridiculous.
Fact: Going into it, I wasn't really sure I was going to love diving.
Fact: I am an idiot.
To start off our vacation, Sam, Jess, Nicole, and I headed to the island of Utila! Utila is the smallest of Honduras' Bay Islands that hang just off the eastern coast of Central America, in the gorgeous Caribbean waters. Getting to Utila meant 36 hours of shuttles, buses, and ferries for the four of us, but vale la pena. So worth it.
Utila sits on the world's second-largest barrier reef, and it's also known as the Whale Shark Capital of the World -- famous for sightings of the biggest fish in the sea. It's also called the cheapest place on earth to get dive-certified. Utila = coral, whale sharks, and cheap? Sign us up!
We spent almost a week on Utila at the highly-recommended Cross Creek Dive Center. For the price of our course, we got: accommodations in a private cabaña with private bathroom, porches, and AC unit, all course manual and DVD trainings, 2 confined water dives (shallow water dives where we learned how the heck to manage yourself while several feet underwater), 4 open water dives to complete our certification, 2 free fun dives, and lots of all-around awesome instructors and co-divers. For all of that, we paid $250. Seriously, a STEAL.
AND, the whole thing was awesome.
I loved taking the boat out everyday into the gorgeous water.
I loved that how stupid we looked geared up in wetsuits, dive tanks, flippers, and masks never got old.
I loved all the random skills we had to learn to do underwater (take off your mask...can't see now...and put it back on, take out your air source...without freaking out...and then put it back in, pretend you are out of air and make an emergency ascent breathing off your buddy's air supply, learn to change your buoyancy using just your own breath).
I loved that because you can't talk underwater, divers have their very own sign language. Shakes hand horizontally - problem. Crosses first and second fingers - I need to pee.
I loved the massive massive massive walls of coral we swam through.
I loved all the colorful fish, colorful eels, scary sting rays, bizarre-looking squid, giant crabs, little lobsters, and other animals we swam across.
I even loved the chicken wraps from Big Mama's restaurant right across the street from Cross Creek. Ate at least one per day.
I loved loved loved everything.
Nicole and I show off the underwater "okay" sign.
How did I think I wouldn't love this?
So this post's conclusion: SCUBA diving was freaking awesome, and now I'm officially certified for life. Now who's with me on the next exotic dive trip?!
Sam and me. I believe I detect an attractive mask line on my pale face.
Minor cockroach crisis. I trapped him under there. But then what?
Sam and Nicole!
Nicole, Jess, me, and Sam. Pros.
Officially certified with official logbooks!
That's me on the end...having trouble with my flippers.
There we go!