As of yesterday October 17th 2010, I was able to scratch another item off of my bucket list.
I am now officially certified as a basic open water scuba diver through PADI. After two weeks, a few hundred bucks, and some outstanding time spent underwater, I was able to get my “learners permit” for diving. The only thing I can say is that I’m hooked.
I took my class though the local dive center called Central Oregon Diving or COD. I began my class with an instructor named Steve but half way though the class he injured himself and was unable to finish with us. Thankfully the owner of Central Oregon Diving was able to take over and see us the rest of the way. Walt Bolton is an older gentleman and calls himself the geezer. I will say though that for his age, he could probably run circles around me. As for his dive experience, you can’t beat him. He started diving at the age of 15 and hasn’t stopped since. You can see from his profile hes had a hell of a life and is by no means ready to give any of it up. The way he teaches his classes is an adventure in itself. He has a no bullshit attitude and will tell you when you mess up. He only does this because diving can be dangerous and safety is his number one concern. He always told us that “you learn more from a mistake than you do by doing it right” and I couldn’t agree more.
If you happen to be in Central Oregon and are looking for a dive school to handle just about anything you need, then Central Oregon Diving is where you need to go. If you are looking for somewhere to talk shop and just get some fantastic diving tips for Central Oregon, Walt is the guy you need to see. I give them to very big thumbs up and would highly recommend them.
Moving on, we did our training dives at the Juniper Swim and Fitness Center which was great. Their Olympic sized outdoor pool was awesome just due to its size and then moving to their indoor pool later was even better just due the warmth. After a few weeks of diving in a controlled environment, it was time to tackle our open water dives. We did this at Cultus Lake in the Cascade Mountains. I thought it was going to be a bit chilly but we lucked out with amazing weather. The water temperature was right around 55-58 degrees. We were able to get away with our 6.5mm wet suits combined with boots, gloves, and a hood.
The photo here was of our dive site and for our initial dive we were able to decent to 32 feet. Since the lake is sitting at just below 5000 ft, we were actually doing an altitude dive. The next step for me will be to start working on my Advanced Open Water and then beyond.
Diving has been something I’ve wanted to try for a long time and now that I have, I wish I would have done it sooner. I’ve meet some very cool people and made a few of them my friends. I can’t say enough how much fun I had and that if you have ever wanted to try it, DO IT! It will be worth every penny and every minute of your time.
Again, the bucket list I made awhile back has allowed me to line out some specific goals. It doesn’t matter if those goals are obtainable right now or later down the road, they are still goals and I am still working toward them. I can honestly stay that I’m finally doing the things I want to do and part of that is due to my list. The feeling I get when I cross something off is amazing.