So, after checking into the house we went off to Mega for groceries and then Covi for Triple Sec (can't seem to find it anywhere else). Came back and had a nachos dinner. My good friend and long time dive-master, Pancho (of PanchoDivingAdventures) came over to talk with us about the plans for the week. His friend Rafael also came over to review the paper work for Edward and Jay. They had done the classroom part and the pool part of their diver certifications in Ohio. They were going to do the open water certification dives with Rafael (who is authorized for the SDI program they went thru). We arranged to start their cert dives at 8 the next morning off of beach in front of La Papalipita den Medio/La Hatch/Papa Hogs/Villa Blanca hotel. While they were doing their certification dives, Tim and I and Pancho went to the Caleta marina (next to the Presendente Hotel) for Tim to do a refresher dive (he hadn't dove since 2008). Pancho's boat is the Makumba. His brother Julio was the boat Captain this week. Since it was Sunday and no school, his son Francisco came along also.
We started off with verifying that we have the right amount of weights (too much and you drop too fast and have trouble ascending, too little and you can't sink within popping to the surface). You check your weights by sitting on the bottom and making sure you can stay there when you take a deep breath.
After reviewing some basic skills (putting water in your mask make clearing it out, losing your breathing regulator and finding it, stuff like that - we went off on a dive of the Paradise reef right in front of the marina opening. A very shallow reef but lots of things to see.
Francisco came down to see how we were doing at one point - just a mask on free diving.
If you look carefully on the branches of the tree-like corals, you can see a colorful slug-like creature called nudebranches. I had never found one on my own before.
We also ran across an adult eel, and two different types of juvenile eels.
After the dive, we went back to the Villa Blanca beach and waited for Edward and Jay to finish their certification dives.
By mid afternoon, we were all set. Edward and Jay were certified and ready to spend a week diving. We celebrated with a backyard picnic for Pancho, Julio, their families, and the rest of us.
Tim with Pancho's youngest daughter, Aitana.
Julio's wife Marianne and newest arrival Jesus.
Pancho's wife Carla, Marianne, and Julio.
After everyone left, we went down to the square for dinner and music. We had the happy hour drink and dinner specials at Plaza Leza restaurant (at the south middle of the square looking center stage to the music pavillion). Enchiladas mole, verde, rojo, cervesas, and margaritas. Edward had to try the photo ops inside the Plaza Leza mall, and off course had to get a tattoo.
Aquino and the banda were playing and the folks were dancing. A nice end to a great day.