Today was our last day of Costa Rica so we decided to go out with a bang! We signed up for PADI certified SCUBA dive from our resort. Our morning was filled with cheesy videos about safety and the learning of the 11 essential underwater hand signals. We also spent some time in the pool getting accustomed to the SCUBA gear. My mom and myself (I think) are certified divers. But it has been long enough between dives that it wouldn't hurt to reacquaint ourselves with the underwater world before diving in.. literally.. haha. BHW has never been SCUBA diving before so this was a whole new experience for him! I was so excited for him to get the chance to explore in the deep blue sea, it's something everyone should at least try!
In the afternoon we loaded up the boat and headed out for Catalina Island. It was just a short boat ride away from our hotel. Once we found a good spot, we geared up. The gear is super heavy when you're on land.. I can hardly walk with all the gear on my back. I was taking my new camera in the water for the first time, I was more nervous about that than the actual dive! After our instructor, Jessica, BHW was the first to go in. You don't actually 'dive' into the water.. you actually never dive.. you just kind of step/flop into the water. It's a pretty ungraceful act. There's honestly no pretty way to do it. So, you just have to go for it.
We all descended for our first dive. My mom and I made it to the bottom pretty quickly. BHW was a little worried about equalizing his ears and the worrying proved to be necessary. He took a bit longer to make his way down. Once he and Jess got to the bottom, we were off in search of creatures of the sea! I don't know the names of everything we saw, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. I will note that we did see a SEA TURTLE! I didn't get a good picture of it, but I'm not too worried about it. The experience itself was absolutely unforgettable. I was extremely impressed with my camera! The pictures came out beautifully, ones that I'll cherish forever! We went on 2 dives that were each about 30 minutes long. The visibility was so-so but we all had such a great time that it was a minor thing. Once the boat took us back to land, we all hopped in the shower to get ready for dinner.
BHW had only a couple 'must do' things on his Costa Rica list.. one of them was visit Volcano Brewing Company. Thankfully it was just a short drive away from Flamingo Beach. By the time we got there it was dark but we could hear the ocean peacefully rocking its waves upon the sand when we arrived. There was an outdoor seating area on the beach and they had live music along with a huge bonfire. I guess the place started as a surf camp and has morphed into the brewery and also 2 restaurants! It was such a great night with good beer, great music, and the sand between our toes while we ate.