After escaping quarantine and being admitted into the country, one of the first things we did was…eat. We enjoyed a reunion with the boat SV Dorothy Rose who had one of my friends on board, a teenage boy, Tanner; they had also been in quarantine and were signed into the country, only minutes before us. The customs office was connected to a marina that included multiple features, including a bar and restaurant. This is where we had our first meal as freed people.
Our day continued by us leaving the bay we had been held capture in for almost 14 days. We found ourselves in Prickly Bay, a relatively crowded place. Besides the semi-desperate need to do anything besides stay on the boat, we had another reason or coming to this bay: scuba diving. Less than a week after leaving quarantine, my dad and I had lessons for a scuba course. I would be getting a certification while he had his recertified, for safety’s sake.
My dad got his certification around the time my mom was pregnant with me; however, he never had much use for the skill as my mom could never complete the course. It may be a bit of a surprise, but pregnant women usually are warned to avoid the sport. My mom also has problems clearing her ears, which is a necessity when it comes to diving. So, my dad’s certification was mostly unused until one day I decided, that would be fun.
In the days before our fist dive, my dad and I spent a little more time on the boat we would have preferred. We both had to take an online course and complete a minimum of three segments before our first dive. For an idea of how challenging this is, you should understand that he and I both were struggling to balance diving and school/work and the dive course didn’t make it easy for us. The segments were long and took at least an hour each, plus a practice quiz and knowledge review. It was an interesting few days.
When our first dive finally arrived, my dad and I left the boat around 8:25 so we would arrive almost exactly on time for our morning lesson. The pandemic made the dive shop’s business slow, so we were the only ones at our lesson. We met our teacher Eveline Verdier (you should look her up, she’s pretty cool) and learned the basics to diving.
We didn’t do much the first day, we dove in shallow water and practiced a few skills, mainly on understanding and maintaining our equipment above and below water.
The following day had the same pattern, we spent the morning diving and afternoon on the boat. After our two shallow dives we would need our Open Water dives, we only got one day between the dives, which we spent primarily studying, before we were back in the water.
After those dives were completed, we were certified and able to leave Prickly Bay. So, we packed up and sailed towards Port Louis Marina.