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Post #2 of 7 Posts : National Geographic Open Water SCUBA Diving Through Night / Search & Recovery
...AFTER MY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC OPEN WATER SCUBA DIVING CERTIFICATION INSTRUCTIONARY CLASSES...
Specialty Diver: Dry Suit Certification : 14 March 2009 Certified Graduation
After that SCUBA certification because of the coldness I felt as well as the type of dream SCUBA Dives I wanted to go for, I knew my first certification had to be for Dry Suit SCUBA Diving. Due to the month of March being colder weather and because of the lower number of people who wanted to get involved at the time for such, I instantly began my furthered education. I went through the sixteen different courses that were offered as well as several extra SCUBA Diving courses, during the time from March 2009 through to July 2009; but one extra course afterward which I earned my certification in November 2009. My dream SCUBA Dive had been discussed with several individuals, though admittedly I had a total of three which were equal to one another. In order to prepare for the most strenuous of the three SCUBA Dives that included being able to get my Dry Suit Certification and because the water and air combination were so cold at the time of my National Geographic Open Water Certification, my Dry Suit Certification had been the first on my list to get taken care of and squared away.
The Dry Suit Certification class I took had began in the classroom before going into the pool with Patti L. Stewart, the owner of International SCUBA at that time. She and I practiced how to burp the suit after discussing various other points of putting the dry suit on correctly. After the classroom we went into the pool area of which I learned how to see which way to go if ever getting turned around and upside down because if there is a bubble in the dry suit, one needs to pay attention which way and be strong enough to be able to flip oneself to go the correct direction. This ironically was the quickest portion of the class for me as one could joke because of my Psalm Sunday 2000 head injury and how easily I can get lost, its fairly easy for me to flip myself around; whether to get lost, or to find a new direction. When the time came for my class at the Clear Spring SCUBA Park in Terrell Texas with my instructor Jeff M. Davis, he and I talked for awhile before getting into the water. He would become one of the most prolific of my SCUBA Diving instructors when earning my various certifications, as for whatever good reason; he had a lot of time to work with me. My certification date is solidified through PADI on 14 March 2009.
Specialty Diver: Peak Performance Buoyancy : 29 March 2009 Certified Graduation & Specialty Diver: Underwater Navigator : 29 March 2009 Certified Graduation
My next set of SCUBA Certifications with Patrick D. Lynch as my SCUBA instructor had been for the SCUBA Diving Specialty of Peak Performance Buoyancy SCUBA Diving as well as for Underwater Navigator certification, of which both classes were important for me to complete personally. I knew I wanted to be as safe as possible when SCUBA Diving each time and though the Peak Performance Buoyancy class occurred at Clear Springs SCUBA Park for the ability to utilize the platforms for the quarters exercise, the Underwater Navigator course occurred at Aquarina Hot Springs in San Marcos because of the landmarks and the wooden landing area for assistance with kicks. However there had been another SCUBA Diving course of the Underwater Navigator class of which had been at the quarry in Huntsville, for me at least. That particular class at Huntsville had been in preparation for the class for me at Aquarina Hot Springs along with the other people who joined, on that day. I remember both locations because at Huntsville Patrick and Jeff Waters had set up flamingos to test me whereas at Aquarina Hot Springs the majority of the aspects had been in reference to focal points, as well as the kick strokes to count. Both of those Specialty SCUBA Certification were filed for me on 29 March 2009, after I had earned the approval for such.
Specialty Diver: Digital Underwater Photographer : Level 2 : 5 April 2009 Certified Graduation
The next Specialty SCUBA Certification had been with Richard L. Troutte who is also one of my Cavern SCUBA Diving instructors, however this particular class had been for Digital Underwater Photography. He had shown me images he had taken when in The Sonotes in Mexico and had discussed his studies and work with rebreathers for SCUBA Diving and the differences for pictures when underwater, in comparison to regular SCUBA Diving gear. He showed me several extra tips in reference to caring for the digital cameras in comparison to what was involved with the PADI certification course, though he obviously covered all of the details within the coursework. That particular class I had met the female who had showed me the neoprene head-cover which was different to the ones at the SCUBA shops and when I went back to my house in Carrollton, I went to the website to find which one would be ideal for me. I found a Ladybug neoprene head cover, which I was able to get in a thicker material to ensure extra warmth since I knew how easy it was for me, to get too cold. I would rather be too warm when SCUBA Diving, rather than too cold; though a personal preference for myself. Though I had gone through various aspects of the course at Huntsville Quarry in the state of Texas to learn quite a bit from Rich, there would be much more I would learn later on of which I am still extremely appreciative of; just as I am of each of my SCUBDA Diving Instructors. This particular SCUBA Certification was filed on 5 April 2009.
Equipment Specialist Non Diving Certification : 21 April 2009 Certified Graduation & Enriched Air SCUBA Diver Enriched Air NITROX MAX 40% O2 : 21 April 2009 Certified Graduation
These two SCUBA Certifications I earned and were filed for my completion graduation of was on 21 April 2009 through the teachings of Kevin W. Murphy and Amanda S. Thomas who had taught me much more than they may have realized. Kevin had discussed certain aspects of police work he had done, which assisted my already respectful view of Police Officers and what they endure through their work, he had shown me the various aspects of equipment for regular SCUBA Diving as well as some aspects of Police Officer Search and Rescue SCUBA Diving. Thus in his education I was able to learn from, he had taught me several tips in utilizing the gear in a safe way, though also learning ways to streamline the diving equipment while always having enough for any given circumstance. Though I already had quite a bit of SCUBA gear at that point in time, because of his expertise I decided to get a second set of every piece of SCUBA gear I already had for a just in case emergency circumstance. Though he had not recommended such, I felt that would be extremely important for me and what SCUBA Diving I would be doing. When I went through the NITROX Certification with Amanda Thomas I was able to inquire of various points which because of my Psalm Sunday 2000 head injury though I felt bad because she had to spend more time explaining the mathematics portions of the NITROX levels and the schematics for such, she assisted in my comprehension of different breathing methods when utilizing NITROX in comparison to when using regular oxygen tanks when SCUBA Diving. Due to her extra time and explanations of techniques, the ability to function in the upcoming circumstances assisted with much of my survival.
Specialty SCUBA Diver: SUUNTO Computer Assisted Diving : 23 April 2009 Certified Graduation & Specialty SCUBA Diver: Altitude Diver : 26 April 2009 Certified Graduation
The graduation for this certification paperwork date is 23 April 2009 and I learned from Brian D. Divine of different ways through not just the SUUNTO Computer system, but others since my SCUBA gear was with a different company. My depth gauge computer was made in the UK and measured in ATMs (Atmospheric Measurements of 1 ATM equaling 33 feet), instead of the normal 1 measurements of the average SCUBA Diving equipment at the time of equaling 1 foot. Though Brian had also seen first hand of my problems with technology and quickly came to understand why I refused to use the wireless technology when I would go SCUBA Diving, as there were several computer devices in the shop which started having technical issues when we were working with various pieces. When he had asked me "What level have you had problems with technology, since you have told Patti about it?" I told him after finding out he was also into Massage Therapy as a profession which meant in my thoughts he also knew about energy workings "I had a laptop catch on fire in my lap once when I was typing on it outside, after I saw a piece of ash fell onto the corner. When I went to blow the ash out of the way as I thought the smoking was from the cherry still lit, I watched as the flames shot out of the keyboard, and the flames apparently went downward as well. I had the pattern of the fan on my thighs which took awhile for me to get the burns to heal, but I did; which was not nearly as long in time to heal after the femoral artery scope when I was in the Army."
He asked what I meant and I told him "When I was in the coma after the Psalm Sunday 2000 head injury the doctors performed a scope through my femeral artery which the incision should have been the size of a dime and the bruise the size of a silver dollar but instead the incision was the size of a silver dollar and the bruise went down to my knees on each leg, and across my stomach. It was not until months after being in the Medical Hold Unit that the bruise had healed, and went away." He asked me "What happened to the laptop?" I told him "Thankfully I met a guy who lived in the neighborhood in San Antonio who knew how to fix techy stuff as I dealt with the repercussions of my now-dead-ex-husband who was mad at me because of what I did, causing the fire to mess up his computer with his dissertation on it. The techy guy thankfully was able to retrieve the dissertation, but nothing else."
Brian asked "What do you mean you messed up?" I told him "I had just received my Reiki Level 2 healing energy attunement and when I was on the laptop I felt something weird which was different than my normal issues with technology, so I thought it would be a good idea to Reiki the computer as well as everything connected to help the healing. I felt almost similar to the way I had when before the 1993 attack just as I felt just before the 2001 attacks, so I thought I could help prevent the damages if I sent healing energy to all of the technology stuff and all of the people who used it so they could heal too." Brian laughed asking "Did you tell anyone?" I nodded signaling yes "Immediately after I could get the healing to begin for my burns I called my Reiki teacher Joe Rose, and I told him about the laptop. He said it was sweet for me to want to heal that level of stuff, but the Reiki energy was not intended for anything other than living organisms. I thought with people being at the other end of technology stuff sending healing energy which would allow them to choose whether or not they would accept as they way Reiki works, would help the problems I felt that I had no words for. Brian asked "What did you mean about your then husband?" I said "You know how I say I had not seen him in two days and was in a different part of the city for the time he had died, well if you ever were to learn what I went through in that marriage; you would fully understand why I needed to because I think there would be a day which some would wonder why I didn't feel comfortable not saying as such. I am just so very thankful that guy was able to save me, by getting that dissertation off of that laptop; I suffered quite a bit, to say the least."
Brian and I discussed a few other points before I went along my way and before the Altitude SCUBA Diving course of which my graduation certification paperwork was filed on 26 April 2009, which the classroom work was done at International SCUBA; though the SCUBA Diving portion was completed at Lake Travis in Austin Texas. There several other SCUBA Diving Instructors also attended the area which Brian was surprised to see the rumors were true about me. When he asked "Why do you camp out here, instead of getting a hotel room?" I said "Because I get to enjoy everything after a wonderful day of SCUBA Diving, and I can lay in my tent and look up." He asked "What can you see when in there?" I said "I remove the cover off of the top and I can see the entire galaxy." He laughed and said "Okay, oh my God. You must be joking." I said "I enjoy, wheat I can enjoy, when I can enjoy it." In some regards one could say, there is truth somewhere in each joke.
Project AWARE Specialty Non Diving SCUBA Certification : 30 April 2009 Certified Graduation
Matthew Porter had taught the class of several people and I when at International SCUBA of which the graduation paperwork was filed for my certification on 30 April 2009, and much information I was able to have learned when he taught the class. Though he had obviously gone through the material from within the pages of the book, I had also been able to learn extra information as I did because of questions from other students; as well as my own questions in reference to keeping the ocean safe when SCUBA Diving. That has been a way I have learned a lot in certain regards as because the textbook information is always informative, sometimes the questions other people ask can add points of interest which may not have been thought about before or by others; however sometimes the questions have been queries of which I have wanted to learn of myself but did not have the correct words to ask. When some of the people in the class also went to the Clear Springs SCUBA Park for some SCUBA Diving, the ability to SCUBA Dive and look at certain points within the lake had been added to the classwork; even though not a traditional point of the certification.
During that particular weekend the need for people to help Patti with the Rescue Divers for that certification had been asked of the group I was with, and when I had been asked to help Patti told me she wanted me to pretend to be a panicked SCUBA Diver who needed help. When I asked her what I needed to do she told me "You need to be as difficult as possible to bring in, as the victim." I asked "Patti what do you mean be difficult, you mean be a pain in the a**?" She nodded signaling yes saying "You need to be as difficult as possible, you cannot let him bring you back to the safe point without a fight. I want you to scream for help, I want you to fight him, I want you to give him an idea of how difficult some rescues can be." I asked "Patti you know I was born and raised in New Jersey and the level of screaming there is very different than the level of screaming for the state of Texas, right?" She said "I don't care, you need to be loud and be the most panicked victim for this course." I said "Patti, I think you should reconsider what you are asking of me. I don't think you comprehend how bratty I can be. I think you also don't want me to scream for help, because I can be really really loud." She said "Nope, you need to give this guy hell when he tries to bring you in for safety. The more difficult you can be, the better." I shrugged my shoulders saying "Okay, Patti. However I think you might want me to not be as difficult as you are asking me to be. I can be difficult and I mean, I can be extremely difficult." She interrupted me saying "The more difficult you can be to bring into the safe point the better, because a real victim can be extremely difficult. I believe you may have the ability to show something like that as no other can." I said "Okay, Patti. I think I shouldn't scream but I should yell for help instead, but if you say so."
When Patti got her belongings to go over from the International SCUBA set up area with the grove of trees, I grabbed what I needed and walked over to the other side of the lake. I went to the boat pontoon platform where she assigned each Rescue SCUBA Diver to their partner, and everyone shook hands when meeting. The male who was assigned to me asked me to go easy on him and I said "Patti told me I am supposed to be extremely difficult for you to rescue, so that's your warning." He laughed saying "Oh my God, you think you can be difficult? You're so tiny!" I asked "Are you making fun of me, or are you challenging me to see how difficult I can be?" He said "You couldn't be difficult to bring in, I can wrestle." I smiled and said "Okay, sweetie. If you think that's the case, don't let my size fool you. I am much stronger than you think I am and Patti said you need to be taught how to rescue the most difficult SCUBA Diver." He laughed waving his hand at me "Yeah, sure. Whatever you say. I'll bring you in within less than one minute." I said "If you think so, but I believe you have no clue what I am capable of." He said "You're tiny, there's nothing you can do compared to my strength." I said "You are testing me, right? I thought this was your test, so why are you provoking the bear?" He looked at me and went to pat me on my head as I ducked out of the way and he said "Oh, you think you are Muhhammad Ali?" I said "I don't know who that is, but I can move more quicker than you think I can and I am much stronger than my faery size will let you see right now."
Patti came between us and said "You two get to know one another?" The male said, "Yep Patti, this is going to be easy peasey." I looked at Patti and she said "You have met Susan, right?" He nodded signaling yes saying "Yeah, she's cute." I looked at Patti and said "He tried to pat me on my head." She smiled at me then looked at him saying "Oh, that was a mistake on your part. I already told her to be extremely difficult for you to rescue." He said "Sure, Patti. I got this." Patti said "Yeah, we'll see about that. Susan and the others, go into the water for your time to be rescued." I walked to the edge and went into the water, moving towards the area just above the edge of where the sunken airplane is and waited for the male to come in my direction. Patti said for everyone to call for help, and I started screaming for help as she told me. The male swam towards where I was and I splashed the water so hard after pushing him away from me, the water knocked off his SCUBA mask. When he tried to say words that would calm me down and reach for me, I pushed him away again and that time I spun him around; while still screaming for help. He continued to try to grab me to pull me closer and when he did, I threw him on the other side of where I was swimming and continued screaming for help.
Shortly after that I heard an engine start up as I screamed again and then I heard tires kicking up gravel while some driving occurred, as the male attempted to bring me in. I splashed the water so hard that time he spun a little and could not get close enough because of his attempt. When I heard a door slam and yelling, Patti called for the exercise to be over. I swam back to the pontoon platform dock and climbed out of the water to see Patti being yelled at. I ran up the stairs to climb the hill and run in front of Patti between her and the male saying "I am sorry if I was too loud, I apologize." He asked me "Who are you?" I took off the ladybug neoprene head cover and removed my SCUBA mask saying "I'm Susan." He asked if I was the one screaming loudly and I told him "Patti told me to scream and be a difficult panicked SCUBA Diver needing to be rescued, so I did. I did try to warn her through reminding her of where I grew up." He and I spoke for awhile and then the replacement word for help for a SCUBA rescue became "Pizza. Call for pizza" instead. However after that explanation one of the SCUBA Divers from my class for Project AWARE came over to let me know Matt wanted us to go on a SCUBA Dive, so I walked back over the the other side of the lake. Ironically only now did I think about how much easier it could have been to simply swim across the lake instead of walking around the perimeter of the lake. Maybe hypothetically that shows certain aspects of my Cognitive Disorder problems, maybe.
Specialty SCUBA Diver: Diver Propulsion Vehicle : 10 May 2009 Certified Graduation
Ho W. Lee was my teacher for this course and though some of the classwork had been done briefly in the location of International SCUBA, the majority of the learning occurred at Clear Springs SCUBA Park for this class. Ho Lee taught me various points of the Scu-Doo propulsion vehicle, how to disassemble and reassemble certain components, as well as way to ensure a prolonged battery life to maximize the length of SCUBA Diving time. As the first SCUBA Dive had been using the propulsion vehicle to circle around the sunken airplane after using the propulsion vehicle to get out to the airplane, in the lake. The surface interval we discussed other aspects about the propulsion vehicle and I was able to ask various questions in reference to the hydrological aspects when utilizing the Scu-Doo propulsion vehicle, which Ho Lee answered in detail each of my questions at the time. The second SCUBA Dive after the battery had been charged for the vehicle, we used the propulsion vehicle to go out to the sunken metal shark called Cisco which is now the mascot for Clear Springs SCUBA Park as Brad the new owner told me. We went around the sunken shark before using the vehicle to travel a little more before returning to the land, which I was able to have fun testing the capabilities of in different movements. Ho Lee joked when we were on the surface afterwards "It's almost like you were doing airplane tricks in the water with that, how did you prevent the engine from seizing?" I joked "I have a way when it comes to certain things, and the water."
Specialty SCUBA Diver: Wreck SCUBA Diver : 17 May 2009
Jeff M. Davis was my SCUBA Instructor for another course of which this class had been completed first in Huntsville because of several wrecks which were sunken in the quarry, before we went to Clear Springs SCUBA Park for the other portion. As he showed me how to utilize the line and reel when in the water after having the class on land, he and I had gone through various points of discussion to prevent getting lost. He and I discussed ways to prevent kicking up silt which is finer inside of wrecks in the water than the silt at the bottom of the ocean, as well as a few distinguishing differences. One of the discussion points had been in reference to the various boat wrecks which are in the Great Lakes but in specific in Lake Michigan, which he had wanted to go see more of. That was the first time he had asked me "What is your dream SCUBA Dive?" I blushed a bit as I was slightly embarrassed knowing my idea for a SCUBA Dive ideal was not going to be the average normal view as most SCUBA Divers want to go diving in warm water environments. I told him when he continued urging me to tell him seeing how squirmy I was getting had been first, I want to SCUBA Dive in the Chinese area of the ocean waters because I know there are lots of fish in the region which are much bigger than school buses.
He looked at me with an odd look as I continued explaining but my dream of all dream SCUBA Dives would be other than in the Marianas Trench, which he stopped me laughing and saying "That's an area where no SCUBA Diver has been able to SCUBA Dive" and I said "I want to see the Angler Fish in person, they are so cute!" His eyes widened "That's a face of a fish only a mother, could love." I said "You don't know how many other cuties are in that area, you just don't know! There are so many cute little fishies down there" and he stopped me saying "You mean there are cute fish down there" which I said "Yeah, okay hon. You can say fish for that region, but I call them fishies for a reason." He smiled and asked me "Did you just call me, hon?" I said "Yes, you know that means short for honey right?" He smiled and said "Oh, okay. So, your dream dive ultimately is what?" I said "My extremely wishful dreamy of all dreamy SCUBA Dives would be the ability to go SCUBA Diving at night while the Aurora Borealis is flowing overhead so I can watch the animals in the area while seeing the ways in which the lights flow in view from the ocean waters. I think that would be amazing to see, don't you?" He asked me "What do you mean?" I said "Why do you think I wanted to get my Dry Suit Certification done first? Did you think it was only because of how cold I get when in the water? No, silly! I have my ideal of what I want to do and see as I think seeing the Starfish that are bigger than the fish in the Chinese areas of the ocean and the Sea Anemone out there even bigger with the little baby sea lions swimming around would be amazing to view as the Aurora Borealis Northern Lights flow and sing amongst the air. Why?"
He shook his head saying "Oh my God, you're kidding right?" I said "No, I think that would be the most beautiful SCUBA Dive to be a part of and able to watch. I think the loveliness of everything in the area would be amazing to see in person. Can you imagine how romantic that could be with someone you care about and love for a SCUBA Dive?" He looked at me and said "I never thought about that, why would you ask me that?" I said "I didn't think it was an odd question, I just thought that would be amazing to see but if able to share that experience with someone I am in a relationship with; that would be lovely and beautiful. I know I'm a bit weird and not many people understand or comprehend me, but I think seeing both the below and the above at the same time would be an awe inspiring experience." Jeff changed the subject after clearing his throat, and we went on with the class. As we went through various aspects of SCUBA Diving points in reference to the wreck diving, he and I went through various exercises when in the water before surfacing and my graduation.
Picture I took of some SCUBA Divers in Huntsville Quarry in Texas practicing for their skills