Motivations from My Perspective - a New (and Nervous) Diver

Logging into my gmail, I see a new dive buddy request. Great! I have not logged in since creating an account with Project Aware.

I'm still in the Midwest and now have 9 dives logged in fresh water. I got my open water certification on May 5th, a day we recieved a climate anomole and it snowed. The surface water temp was 47 degrees and the thermocline, much colder. I had a men's large under my 7mm wetsuit, hood and gloves. All the dives went very well, but it took hours to get my core temp back to normal. Just this last weekend, my dive buddy and I went to Beaver Lake in AR, the same place we attained our open water certification to get our advanced open water. This included 2 dives that made me nervous, a night dive and our first deep dive; up to 130ft. Our first 3 dives, including the the night dive, went off without a hitch! I do wish however I could afford all my own equipment. The mouth piece that came with the rented equipment was causing my gums to bleed and my dive computer was beeping without apparent reason. Yes, the battery was checked. I do not however pretend to know enough about dive computers yet. I am certainly a novice.

When 6am came, it was time for our deep dive. The last dive needed to attain advanced open water. Going on only two hours of sleep, I already felt ill equiped. It was our turn. The surface water temp was about 78 degress, nice. For the first time it seemed as though the lead diver was going fast. Rare, considering she is the person always telling me to slow down. We reached nearly 60ft in less that 2 minutes. Once at the thermocline, in only a 3mm wetsuit this time (brrr), I glanced at my dive computer and the numbers were missing-nothing. The lead went past a tree. I could not go right and my dive buddy was on my left. I pushed to the left and my dive fin was caught on the tree. At this point, I felt uncomfortable and ended the dive. I blame equipment fail on Mercury Retrograde. Simply, it wasn't my time to go that deep.

Not living near any appropriate dive areas, I will have to wait until September when I go to Boniare to get my advanced open water certification. Ending the dive did not bother me. It was the other diver's reations. I admit, I did not make a safety stop ascending going down nearly 60ft. Theoretically, this is the no-decompression stop limit. I was however down less than 3 minutes. To ensure safety I did not dive again this day. Others citing, "You can stay above 60ft and log more dives." For me, the purpose of logging dives is progression of knowledge and my experiences on that particular dive. My goal is not to attain Master Diver or other accolades. My motivation when I dive it to learn about aquatic environments in order to eventually protect, preserve, and reestablish. If I have fun in the meantime, my goals have a bonus. I am looking forward to Bonaire. I know I will go deep and I know I will be comfortable enough to do so when the time comes.