These were the final two open water dives of the open water class comprised of Adrian Giatan, AJ Nieto, Michael Nieto, Maria McGowan, Stephanie McGowan and Alexis Shaw. Luis Monroy came along to help and brought his camera, which was terrific since I forgot mine. The pictures posted here were taken by Luis, whose copyrights are reserved.
The class swam together on the surface to the Eastern edge of the reef to avoid any nitrogen loading before making the required ascents. I broke the students into buddy pairs and the girls simulated being out of air first, making the alternate air ascent with their buddy and blowing up their BCD orally at the surface. Then the guys were out of air. Stephanie and Adrian had no alternate air source on their gear, so they just watched. Then the buddy pairs performed a buddy breathing ascent. Finally, I took each of them up with a CESA. Maria had to breath on her first attempt, but nailed it on the second. Everyone else made it on the first try and AJ made an absolutely perfect CESA. Once everyone successfully performed the ascents, we swam North along the edge of the reef looking for the turn marker.
For our second dive, we got geared up and entered the water in front of Tower 17, the swam on the surface to the reef to descend. I tried to track our bearing and was more or less successful. We sound a Hawksbill turtle who swam slowly so that everyone could follow. We were a bit North, but I spotted the precursor rocks and we found the Fish Camp Rocks. Luis spotted a small Nurse Shark, but had trouble getting a good picture.