Tuesday was our last session in the pool so we covered off the skills that we had left to go over including removing all our scuba gear at the bottom of the pool and then putting it all back on again. Interesting exercise but we need to know this in case we ever get tangled in something... often the best solution is to remove it all in order to get loose again. This wasn’t too bad to achieve... not as hard as doing it at the surface!
On the surface you had to remove the unit without letting go... you still have weights on so letting go of the BCD and tank was not a good idea if you wanted to remain at the surface! No pressure (yeah right) but I was hanging onto that sucker with a death grip! You then had to let enough air out of the BCD so that you could manoeuvre it easily under the water and through your legs so that the jacket was behind you and you were sitting at the bottom of the tank, riding it so to speak. Then it was a simple matter of reaching back slipping your arms through the arm holes and sliding forward, off of the tank and ... voila... you’re in... hmmm... sounds simple doesn’t it?
Well I think I got a rogue tank! My first attempt I nearly got it, one arm through... yeah! ... then reach back with the other... whoooaa... whoa! Easy now... wooo-woooo-WHOOAA!! Splash!! DON'T LET GO!!! Kick-kick-splutter... hanging on with for dear life... Have another go. The second attempt the tank was onto me already and bucked me off in three seconds flat. By this time I was tired, cold and starting to cramp up from all that kicking to stay at the surface. I took a moment to rest and work the cramp out, the others in the class had completed this by then and were off out of the pool... Sheesh!! Okay... I have to do this... It’s the last task so I’m gonna do this if it kills me!! Well... not literally... Righto, the instructor checked the air in my BCD and let some more out. This of course made it a lot less buoyant and, as it turned out, a lot more compliant. Still I wasn’t going to muck about because I didn’t fancy being bucked off again!! Kick-kick-kick, wrangle that sucker... flip shove... Alright... I’m on! One arm... two arms, slide forward... lean back, velcro up, click the belly strap in, pull down the chest cords... I’m in!!! Yeeeehaw!! Another box ticked which of course meant I could get it off again and get out of the pool... Yes!
Thursday was the exam... I felt fairly confident about it. To pass you had to score 75% so we had to get 38 of the 50 questions right... no worries! Most of it was pretty much common sense and all throughout the course the instructor had continued to emphasis the important points both in and out of the water. I finished up with a score of 49 so was pretty chuffed with myself. I got a run-down from the instructor on what the plan was for the open water dives, what to bring, what time to meet and I was off!! Woohoo! Open water... here I come!!