Science of Diving

With the Science of Diving specialty, I have 4 specialties and 21 logged dives. With 3 more dives, I will earn SSI Advanced Open Water Diver recognition.

Science of Diving is not particularly difficult, but it’s certainly not easy. It covers a very broad spectrum of topics, and the written test has 100 questions. With that many questions, it’s easy to make mistakes.

Nonetheless, I scored 97 correct out of 100. I’m OK with the questions I missed, because they were really obscure. I remember that one was about the names of wave actions. I don’t even remember that being in the material.

Anyway, I’m glad that specialty is out of the way. I’m looking forward to receiving Advanced Open Water Diver recognition, because it’ll represent being a little bit less of a scubanoob. I’ll still feel like a scubanoob, but a relatively knowledgeable one.

Next up will be Stress & Rescue, and then I will dive my way to Master Diver recognition. Along the way, I will work on the specialties needed to become a Dive Guide.

I am not a dive professional yet, but I keep baby finning (as opposed to baby stepping) a little bit closer and closer….

Best React Right Course Ever

React Right is supposed to be a “boring” specialty, because it is supposed to take place in a classroom. Supposed to, anyway….

As I was approaching my dive center, however, I happened upon the resort’s resident marine biologist. She told me that young students were arriving, again, to learn about coral reef restoration, saving our oceans, and saving our planet. She asked me if I was participating again, and I said I didn’t know about it. I was scheduled for React Right (first aid, CPR, AED, and O2).

As I arrived to find my instructor, I was recruited to be the photographer. My instructor and I worked out the logistics where I would start my course while the students were being briefed on land, then I would dive, and then I would finish the course. Since I have been CPR and first aid certified multiple times over the years, plus I have been AED certified, we were not expecting the course to be challenging for me.

So, we proceeded as planned. We covered quite a bit in the morning, and then I got in 2 dives. The first dive was to recover coral fragments and live rock. After tying pieces of each together with metal wire, the second dive was to plant the corals in a designated area.

While the divers worked, I swam around taking photos and videos. One of my newest favorite things to do, I swam on my back now and again to take photos and videos of the students snorkeling above, watching and learning.

I had commented before the dives that I didn’t think I needed a mesh bag that day because of where we would be diving. I was wrong. At the end of the second dive, we swam back to the pier. Along the way, I recovered 2 pieces of debris weighing about .1 kg together.

I obviously glossed over a lot here but, long story short, I completed my course,passed with a score of 29/30, and had an amazing time. It would be enough fun just to participate in any way in a coral reef restoration project, but knowing that the next generation is watching and learning raises the experience to a whole new level.

React Right

Today I received my digital React Right specialty card. React Right is a course combo that includes first aid, CPR, AED, and oxygen administration. It is valid for 2 years.

This was an easy specialty, simply because I have been CPR and first aid certified quite a few times over the years. I have even been AED certified at least once. My experience has included both adult and child/infant training.

In fact, I educated my instructor about a few things, especially with infant CPR. Learning to properly hold a choking baby is not something you can read; you really have to see it demonstrated and give it a try on an appropriate mannequin.

The only thing I had never done before was oxygen administration. It’s not difficult; the bottom line is to get to know your equipment before you ever might need to use it. 

I highly recommend learning lifesaving skills. Never get caught in a situation with a loved one, a friend, an acquaintance, or even a total stranger, where you might feel completely helpless. Even one class every 2 years, if that’s all you do, will give you at least a basic idea of how to start to respond during an emergency.

My First 3-Dive Day

If this photo looks like I’m inside the cockpit of an airplane, it’s because I’m inside the cockpit of an airplane!

The first dive was a 5-person group. We spent 51 minutes at Baring, off Olango Island, Cebu, Philippines. Maximum depth was 25 meters. We recovered 6 pieces of debris, weighing a total of 1.3 kg.

The highlight should have been the garden eels. Unfortunately, in my excitement to photograph them, I scared them back down into the sand. As you can see from the photos that I am sharing, I did not get them. As soon as we surfaced, I apologized to my group.

The second dive was Dakit-Dakit, which is near Kontiki, off Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines. My 3-diver group spent 50 minutes underwater, with a maximum depth of 25 meters. We recovered 18 pieces of debris weighing a total of 1.7 kg.

I had actually never heard of this dive site before. I had passed through it a few times, but no one mentioned that it was a dive site. It also does not appear on any maps, and is barely mentioned on the Internet.

I should probably know better than to exhale while taking a photo, but I was excited!

The third dive, saving the best for last, was Tambuli, off Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines. My 3-diver group spent 55 minutes there. Our maximum depth was 20 meters, since that is the depth of the airplane wreck and that was our destination. We recovered 7 pieces of debris weighing a total of .1 kg.

If the airplane wreck is not enough, there is also this small wreck-like wreck at Tambuli.

Once again, I find it ironic that an underwater airplane wreck is a tourist attraction off an island with an international airport. The truth is that it was sunk deliberately, but, if you don’t know that, the information is disconcerting.

SSI Specialty Diver

During my first three-dive day on Monday, I was chitchatting with one of the other divers, one of the instructors, or… well, somebody else, and my dive history came up. He or she (isn’t it terrible that I can’t remember) said that I qualify for SSI Specialty Diver recognition. 

The prerequisites for SSI Specialty Diver recognition are 2 completed specialties plus 12 logged dives. I completed 2 specialties very early on, actually, and I was completing dives 17, 18, and 19 that day. 

So, I finally remembered to ask my dive center about it today, and BAM… my first recognition. Just like that.

I have been signed up for both React Right and Science of Diving for a while, but my dive center has been busy so I have been enjoying fun dives while waiting for things to quiet down. This gives vacationers the opportunity to take whatever courses they are interested in. I live nearby, so I can afford to be patient.

As of this moment, I hope to complete those two specialties tomorrow. That will leave me with 4 completed specialties plus 19 logged dives, and thus only 5 dives away from Advanced Open Water Diver recognition!

13th #DiveAgainstDebris

My 13th #DiveAgainstDebris was at Tambuli, off Mactan Island, Cebu Philippines. We recovered 7 pieces of debris weighing .1 kg.

The most unusual find was 2 fake fingernails.

The most disgusting find was 2 cigarette butts. I have never been fond of picking up after smokers on land either.

12th #DiveAgainstDebris

My 12th #DiveAgainstDebris was at Dakit-Dakit off Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines. We recovered 18 pieces of debris weighing a total of 1.7 kg.

The most unusual find was a plastic bag containing aluminum cans. In the immediate vicinity, there were other aluminum cans.

The most potentially-disgusting find was a feminine hygiene pad. It did not appear to be used, but it is still as cringeworthy upon approach as the 2 diapers I have previously found.

11th #DiveAgainstDebris

My 11th #DiveAgainstDebris was at Baring, off Olango Island, Philippines. We retrieved 6 pieces of debris weighing a total of 1.3 kg.

The most unusual discovery was an intact snorkel.

Unfortunately, we also recovered another diaper. This is the 2nd diaper I’ve recovered in this general area, and it was no less nasty than the last time. But, I keep reminding myself that a plastic diaper simply does not belong in the ocean.

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