Justin and a bunch of his family has really been looking forward to SCUBA diving as part of this trip. I was open water certified in 2006 (we got to go when we were in New Zealand) but I hadn't been on a dive since. So while I really liked the idea of going diving with them, I was really hesitant. I'd forgotten so much, and knew they would all be much more experienced than I - I really didn't want to slow them down.
In the end, they were so friendly and welcoming about it that I decided to go. And gosh was it fun. I really did forget some pretty important stuff about it, but our instructor was patient and got me back on track - and it really wasn't too difficult after all.
On the first dive we saw a huge lobster waving his long spiny arm-things at us, and then we found a sea turtle! He was smallish but we followed him around for a while. Later we found a bigger dude - even more fun! The sun wasn't shining, so there wasn't quite the color there might otherwise be, but even so the variety and color of what we saw was just amazing.
Hand signals are really important when you're diving, since you don't really have another way to communicate with each other down there. So when the swim instructor came near me to check in and I gave him a "thumbs up" he gave me additional weight for my weight belt. I didn't know how to tell him that I didn't think I needed it since I felt fairly comfortable with where my buoyancy was at. Once we surfaced I asked him about it. Turns out "thumbs up" means "surface" - so he thought I was letting him know that I couldn't stay down and was going to need to go up - hence the additional weight! We laughed (me sheepishly), I gave him the weight back, and I was sure to use the "OK" sign on the second dive.
In between dives we took a safety rest in a hidden cove that was pristine and beautiful - and featured a Mayan ruin! We explored around, found iguanas and hermit crabs to poke at, and generally amused ourselves until it was time to return to the open water.
On the second dive we saw another sea turtle and this time I was brave enough to swim up next to it and reach out my hand just as it was swimming with its flipper and "high five" it. I think they caught it on film - if so, I will share it later!