The PADI Open Water course (2)

Dive #03 – Xlendi Bay, Gozo

Date: 6/6/13
Max. Depth:16.2 meters
Bottom time: 00:38

My final day of the PADI Open water course kicked off with a dive in Xlendi bay. I made sure my mask was well de-fogged and clear and was immediately struck by the clarity of the underwater world. So much for ‘losing the wonder’ after just one dive. After practising some basic skills I followed my instructor for a swim around the bay, which started out with a small reef which opened up to a precipice down to a depth of (I guess) 20-30 meters. We descended to a maximum depth of 16.2 meters, the deepest I’d been so far. I looked up at the surface and thought: ‘gee, that sure is a lot of water above me. Neat.’ The bottom contour was a nice slope which was completely covered with seagrass. Nothing special to look at in and of itself, but floating next to a sloping wall filled with approximately half meter-length strands of the grass gently wafting back and forth in the current was a pleasant otherworldly touch. Apart from setting a personal depth record nothing spectacular happened, which I suppose is good in a training dive. Also, still no caches of lost long rum.

Dive #04 – Xlendi Bay, Gozo
Date: 6/6/13
Max. Depth:18 meters
Bottom time: 00:40
For the second dive of the day and final open water checkout dive we returned to Xlendi Bay. During our surface interval we relaxed at a café the owner of which my instructor was friends with. Having a coffee and lunch in full scuba gear in the middle of nice restaurant amidst other guests was a fun intermezzo. The dive resembled the last one, we’d planned to do a short tunnel at the end of the bay, but I used up my air a little bit too quickly for that. While I was getting more comfortable underwater I still didn’t have a lot of grace or the requisite patience. The slower and more deliberate you move, the lower your air consumption and the longer you can stay under. That day I wasn’t that slow. Nevertheless it was a good dive that involved playing with a hermit crab, an octopus that shot ink at us and reaching 18 meters depth; a new personal record and the recommended maximum depth to descend to with an entry level open water certificate.