A few months ago, Ryan and I spotted a Gilt City deal for an introductory scuba diving class. A little bit random perhaps… but why not?
After months of canceled classes and wrangling with the company, we finally managed to use the deal tonight. And while there was even more waiting once we got there, it was all very much worth it.
We headed to Scuba Network‘s store on West 21st Street before trekking to a nearby elementary school that lends the company its shallow pool for lessons.
There were just five of us in a class led by instructor Eric – and yet somehow, they didn’t have enough kit for all of us. So while our other three classmates set up the tanks and backpacks, Ryan and I were relegated to watching.
I was a mini bit annoyed, especially as it meant we only got into the pool around 9.30pm, more than two hours after the class started.
But as Ryan pointed out, at least it gave me a chance to take pictures… So we watched (and snapped photos) as Eric patiently showed the others how to put on weight belts and how to prepare the tanks by unscrewing valves, connecting cables and checking the pressure.
The trio climbed into the shallow end with Eric as he explained how to inflate and deflate the jacket to control your depth in the water, and how to pop the mouthpiece in and breathe naturally. Then they were off!
After a few laps, it was finally our turn, so we strapped the clunky weight belts around our waists and hooked our arms through the straps of the tank jacket. It felt surprisingly good – comfortable and not at all burdensome. Then I figured out where to find everything that would potentially save my life in the depths of the swimming pool… the pressure gauge (to make sure I had enough oxygen for the session), the breathing piece and the buttons to inflate and deflate the jacket.
We dropped in the water – and I quickly learned I was too buoyant (erm…) and needed more weights to control my placement in the water. After a bit of practice, I seemed to have it down.
Eric also taught us a couple of handy tricks – how to put the mouthpiece in while underwater and how to clear our goggles while submerged, just in case they filled up. As it turned out, this happened quite a lot… whenever I saw Ryan flipping away behind me, I laughed at how ridiculous the whole thing was. We were dressed as scuba divers. In a swimming pool.
It was brilliant.
Scuba Network holds a range of classes so that you can get licensed, which you need if you want to do it on holiday. The whole qualification costs around $600, according to Eric, and on top of that you need to complete four open water dives.
While it’s not something Ryan and I fancy doing just yet, the class definitely piqued our interest, and I know we’d both be really interested in taking a few more classes before a trip.
Let’s just hope they have enough equipment next time!