My new dive buddy!
|Meek's Bay - Shore
|Meek's Bay - Shore
|Meek's Bay - Boulders
For his twelfth birthday, we bought Tripp his base SCUBA gear and classes for Open Water certification at Dolphin Scuba.
The dive weekend was in the midst of a two week holiday at Lake Tahoe. Dolphin had a bit of a mix-up in managing whether a 12 year old could join group classes for the checkout or not, and so our original plans in Monterey were cancelled. What happened instead is that they worked around our existing vacation and had one of their instructors come up to meet us in Tahoe, which worked out great!
There were two or three other groups out at the beach doing certifications (altitude, technical… something), but our time was just with Matt Estrada, Tripp, and I. Matt was great to allow me to be beside them through the dives, though I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible, and I skipped the first dive to allow him to focus.
For the first dive I joined, Tripp and Matt had done an air exchange and ascent before I went into the water, plus underwater gear removal and replacement. We then spent the next fifteen minutes or so going around the sandy beach area. I trailed behind them on a semi-solo dive, to let them focus on Tripp’s learning.
The second dive, Tripp had to work on navigation skills, heading half way out to a dive buoy. After the skills were over, again we just dove around at 20-30 feet. A few crawdads were around the area, but mostly it was about being comfortable in the water.
One the second day, and Tripp’s final dive, we did one long dive out from the beach and over to some of the boulder areas. Tripp’s buoyancy looked great, and we enjoyed a little more life (though still just a few schools of small fish and crawdads), but we just explored at about 40′ till Tripp was down to 1500psi.
No checkout dive is the same as a real rec dive, but it’s always awesome to get in the water your first time. Tripp seened to do just fine with the cold water and thick wetsuits; the good visibility in Tahoe always seems to help. I’m super appreciative of Matt’s flexibility at letting me tag along on their dives.