I’m proud to announce that I have recently completed my Open Water Diving certification. I took my classes at NOVA Diving Center in Sterling. They have great instructors who are really knowledgeable and easy to learn from. The whole program took me two weeks. The first week consisted of two classroom sessions. Before the course started they gave me a manual that I had to read. Some of the stuff was actually interesting. It was neat to learn how water pressure affects a person’s body. The deeper you dive the quicker you use your air and the faster your body absorbs nitrogen. These factors affect your available bottom time. Also, you need to make sure you are constantly breathing. This is because as you ascend the air in your lungs expands because there is less pressure. If you hold your breath you can over-expand and seriously damage your lungs.
The next week consisted of two sessions in the pool and two sessions in a quarry. It was cool to learn about all of the equipment involved in scuba diving and how to properly use it. It was a whole different experience diving and breathing underwater than reading about it in a book. The Millbrook quarry is located in Haymarket about 45 min away from where I live in Sterling. A lot of scuba diving schools come here from the Northern Virginia area. It is filled with water and is basically a lake. We dove 30 feet underwater to do our training exercises on an underwater platform. The underwater platform is held up by rope connected to four buoys on the surface. I was told the visibility was better than usual. When we were down on the platform there were lots of friendly Bluegills swimming next to us. Scuba diving is an experience like none other. The combination of weightlessness, colors you see, atmosphere that surrounds you, and special equipment you are wearing provide you with an exhilarating adventure.