My wife and her friend found a scuba certification course locally through Groupon. We spent this weekend doing the theory and practical side of it. The only thing remaining is the open water dive.The entire thing was up and down emotionally.
We spent Friday night and Saturday morning doing all the theoretical stuff. Mainly focusing on all the dangerous aspects of scuba diving; along with familiarity of the gear that we would be using. Nearly all of it was focused one way or another on safety.
The hardest part of the theoretical component was the tables with their pressure groups, bottom times and surface times. The tables are complicated and thankfully have largely been replaced with digitized computers.
Anyway, you have to find a pressure group, flip the table over and then flip it over again and so forth. When it came to the final test I promptly forgot all the aspects of doing the tables and struggled on those questions.
If you are doing the theoretical side, try and get a good grip on the tables before you go. The rest of the stuff you can pick up quickly and memorize during the instruction. The tables are more like maths were repetition of problem solving is better for memory retention than just rote.
The practical stuff was all done in a local diving pool. It was quite cool. It had two deep ends with a shallow part in the middle of the pool. Being Arizona in summer the outside temperature was 105F and the pool was 82F.
Despite the warm water and air, the main issue is still that if you are in the pool for an extended period it will bring your body temperature down and make you cold. On the second day we all wore heavier wetsuits and were thankful for it.
Instruction was proving we could handle the gear, could swim with the flippers etc. And then there was the diving instruction. Which was where I had problems. Breathing under water with a scuba lung was difficult and made me anxious.
Apparently I am a 'nose breather' which means I fog up the glasses and push air out through my goggles. I had to concentrate on breathing out of my mouth which meant when I had to do something else everything fell to pieces and i would forget to breath. Not fun.
I will probably go into local folklore there as I went through three tanks in a day. I was breathing deeply to try and control my breath and remain relaxed. I wasn't hyperventilating or anything,but whatever I was doing I was gulping down air at prodigious rates.
By the end of the second day my consumption had come down, but for a while I was trying to conserve air and was blowing up the BCD manually when I got to the surface so I didn't have to say what the SPG was on.
If I was to do this again I would pay extra to have the instructor just work with you and a buddy. Non-one else. We did it with a group of eight in the pool with two instructors and it took too long. We go cold. Bored. Agitated; and worse everyone had different problems which slowed down the entire certification process.
My wife and I left to have lunch and came back in the afternoon and did the remainder of the course with just us and the two instructors. We spend through it and had an enjoyable time. Like I said if I was to do it again, I would go that route and get direct one on one instruction with a buddy.
I don't know if I am sold on scuba. I don't want to do the big deep dives. I think it is too dangerous for that. I just want to look at fish in Mexico or Hawaii without have to worry about a snorkel. That is all I want to do, float around a little below the surface for thirty mins or so. That would be awesome.
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.