This past weekend, my friend Ryan and I completed our Open Water Scuba Certification. It started two weeks ago with a day in the classroom and a day in a pool, and then culminated in a weekend trip out to Santa Catalina Island (off the coast of Long Beach).
I’ve been fascinated by scuba diving for a long time but, until recently, never thought seriously about trying it myself. When Ryan mentioned a desire, I vocalized my interested and, within a few weeks, a Groupon appeared offering a scuba certification package that we decided to jump on.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the whole experience, but was not at all disappointed. It was (and is!) an absolutely amazing experience.
- The instructors and dive company (PCH Scuba) were awesome. Highly, highly recommend them if you’re looking to get into diving.
- I expected Catalina to be over-touristy and pretentious, but actually really enjoyed the island and town of Avalon.
- The folks in our class were great (and hopefully will be future dive buddies!).
- The ocean at the Catalina Dive Park was amazing; swimming anywhere from 20 to 60 feet below the surface through giant kelp forests with an amazing assortment of aquatic life (including a giant eagle ray we saw swimming ten or fifteen feet in front of us!) was breathtaking (not literally, since the number one rule of scuba is never stop breathing).
Here are a few pictures from the weekend and, below those, a video I found from another diver’s trip to the dive park we spent our ocean time in.