We are officially scuba certified! We spent the last two days (Monday and Tuesday) doing our open water dives with Island Divers here in Honolulu. It’s been amazing!
When we decided to get scuba certified we found out pretty quickly that a lot of the providers in Dallas could not do our full certification before we left in January (this was mostly our fault given we decided to do this pretty late). So we were looking for alternate plans. What it came down to was that we would start our certification in Dallas at Scuba Toys to complete the classroom and pool dives. Then, being our genius selves, we decided to finish our certification and the required open water dives in Hawaii. The thought was we would actually have clear water to scuba in and get in some “free” and amazing dives. Boy, were we right! Best. Idea. Ever.
Day 1 (Monday) we went for a run along the beachfront, had a free breakfast at the hostel and hit Waikiki beach (2 blocks from our hostel) for an hour and a half before our Island Divers shuttle arrived.
We then met Nacho, who would be our scuba instructor for the day. Once we arrived at the scuba shop we finished some paperwork, got our gear and headed out on the boat.
Our first dive site was at Koko Crater, where we were promised that we would get to see some sea turtles. They were not kidding. Nacho gave us some tips and reminders on prepping our gear and then we suited up and hopped in! As we made our way to the bottom we started spotting sea turtles immediately. We did a few sessions to refresh us on some skills and then we started swimming around and seeing what we could find. And it was tons of huge sea turtles. And a few fish. We completed our dive after about 30 minutes and reboarded the boat to head off to our next dive site.
Dive site #2 was Turtle Canyons. And there were no turtles… odd. We did a few more sessions, practiced out of air emergencies with our buddies and then took off for another swim. Nacho found us a baby frog fish that we got to pass around and it was adorable. He then pointed to the distance and had the most excited look on his face. Not too far ahead of us were 2 spotted eagle rays that were ginormous. We decided to swim along with them for a bit before we had to end our dive.
At the end of day 1 we were so happy, exhausted, proud of ourselves and ready for some beers.
Tuesday started off with another run along the beachfront, free hostel breakfast and 2 hours on the beach to work on our tans and relax. The sun was out in full force today and we were sweating within minutes. We then were picked up from our hostel by our new scuba instructor for the day, Jim, and taken to the dive shop to get our gear and do some quick skill lessons before boarding the boat. We had to learn to navigate with a compass, as we were required to do this at the surface and underwater near the bottom.
We went to the same 2 dive sites as yesterday, however the conditions were a little different and it seems the marine life really came out to show off today. We saw a TON of turtles, even bigger than the ones yesterday. Jim took great care of us and did a fantastic job of pointing out different creatures hiding out in the coral. There were a lot more fish swimming around us, sea urchins on the ocean floor, and we were able to snap some great pics on the GoPro.
Underwater Selfie! (we discovered after the fact that waving looks kinda dumb…)
Mahalo (we’re fancy using island lingo) to Island Divers Hawaii and their entire crew for taking great care of us. They showed us some really cool dive sites and helped us to feel comfortable and confident while finalizing our scuba certifications. If you ever find yourself on Oahu wanting to go for a dive, or work on any certification, we highly recommend Island Divers Hawaii for any of your scuba or snorkeling desires. Shout out to Nacho and Jim – you guys rock!
As we took the boat back to the shop on Tuesday, we took in the amazing scenery and talked about how lucky we are to be in Hawaii, scuba diving and getting to go on this adventure of a lifetime.
Aloha for now!
~Kerry and Jenny