The weather at the Florida Sea Base looked very seasonable Monday morning; warm, not raining but a significant chance of rain later in the day/evening, light to moderate easterly breezes.
It’s not much different at the PADI Course Director Training Course in Punta Cana, República Dominicana. For the coming forecast period we are expecting rain every day, lows of 77ºF and highs of 88ºF, with easterly breezes. The principal difference is the rain here is light and steady; more than a drizzle but not so much that you can’t dart about without getting soaked. The Keys rains are generally heavy but for a short period of time. Dominicana is very lush. I haven’t looked up the annual rainfall. The bugs are present but better controlled than expected. The mosquitoes were actually worse at the Florida Sea Base than what I’ve experienced here (so far).
Course Director Bert Hubby had warned me to be at the front of the line when it was time to distribute the weights. The smaller weights typically are taken first so if you are at the end of the line you may get two big weights that give you few options for adjustment. I was wandering about the property (in the light rain) familiarizing myself with the place when I came upon the dive center. There were about 6 people there. It turned out they were all CDTC candidates and were getting their weights. Some of the candidates have been here for the previous week. I was hoping to get two 2 pound weights and 2 three pound weights for a total of 10 pounds. The gentleman in front of me took the last of the two pounders. So I was issued 4 three pounders or 12 pounds total. That will make me a little negative which may be good if I stay tense and don’t breath in a relaxed manner. It could have been much worse. I could have been stuck with two 5 or 6 pound weights. At least I can adjust between fresh water and salt water needs with the 4 three pound weights. So future CDTC candidates, don’t assume you will be told when and how to find your weights. Take charge and track them down as early as possible.
Despite the grey skies and drizzling rain, I took a few pictures. If you click on the first picture, you may be able to see the waves breaking over the island’s barrier reef. The second photo shows how calm the water was at the shoreline despite the obvious high winds (look at the trees). The third photo shows that the island must receive a battering on occasion as the shoreline has been fortified in several areas.
The real fun and games for the CDTC start tomorrow. We will be in the classroom in the morning and pool (in the rain) in the afternoon. We will be scored on skill demonstrations and rescue scenarios in the pool. I expect to have some serious homework tomorrow night so I may not be able to post or may have a very short post.
Wish me luck! Ready or not, here I go!
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
In Punta Cana, República Dominicana