I woke up at 0530. I took a look at my slates. I headed to Winn Dixie to pickup some breakfast. They were closed. Dang the Bad Luck! No yogurt for Breakfast! So I headed over to Jules Undersea Lodge
. This is the site for the Open water portion of the IE. I got there early so I got a premium parking spot. There are only 4or 5 after that you are parking on the grass. I met some nervous individuals who had failed part of the 5 Part Dive Theory Exam. We talked about Physics for a while. Some people start to arrive. The Gate opened after 0700. I took my gear in and got setup. We brief our examiner, Gary Newman. We did our Rescue scenario first while another team did their Open water skills. I was rescued my Tom Petit, my IDC dive buddy, (you couldn’t ask for a better one). We switched over and I rescued him. I had to use my pocket mask for the skill. We passed. Tom played DEAD for Jerry. Once we were done, we got our weight, slates and everything else we needed for the Open Water Skills. I had Neutral Buoyancy with Low Pressure Inflator and Rig and use a Lift Bag. Gary asked me to fill the Bag. I inflated it fully. He said,” What are you doing?” Filling it! He grabbed the bag from me and dumped it. He said not that much and let it sink to the bottom. I laughed if you tell soldier to do something He or She will do it to the fullest unless you are specific about what you want. I laughed about on the descent. We did a few surface skills and descended. We got to the bottom the viz was maybe 10ft to start, not for long. We did full mask flooding and out of air skills. I got to do my fin pivot with LPI. My role player just pushed the LPI and held it. I was glad I had a hold of him before he shot to the surface. I corrected the problem. He did the skill correctly and I moved on. I went to the Bag. Gary had connected it at the surface. I just grabbed it still connected and pushed it toward the student. He started to use his regulator instead of his Octo to inflate the bag. We corrected the problem he got it to neutral Buoyancy. I shook his hand. Gary grabbed the Bag and took the Weight belt off. I realized I had given it to the student already rigged. Duh! I thought I was done. I corrected the problem. We moved on. The area silted up so badly that I couldn’t see everyone. Thanks to one of the students who wasn’t probably weighted. He was swaying back and forth the whole time and once went to the surface unexpectedly. It made the Open water session very interesting. We surfaced and got out. We broke down our gear. I put my stuff in the truck. I did my debrief. I did well on the fin pivot but not so well on the Bag. I lost points for my error. But I passed. I felt the weight lift off of my shoulders. I had wanted to be a Scuba Instructor since 1985 when I started diving. YEAH!!!!!!! I got my certificate for having completing the IE.
Tom and I went to Snapper’s Waterfront restaurant
to celebrate. We start with Mojitos. We order lunch. After lunch we switch to mango or Raspberry Mojitos. They were awesome. WE smoked a couple of Victory cigars in Celebration. We watched the basketball game from the bar. We headed back to Oceandivers
at about 1730. They had a cookout for us. Everybody was happy for us. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I am so glad that I did my IDC
there. I really want to thank Georgia, Joe, and everyone else at Oceandivers
. I don’t think I could have been more prepared for the IE and to be an Instructor. I also have to thank Clay
for supporting through my journey from Rescue Diver to Instructor. Last but not least, I want to thank my wife,