OK, so a bit melodramatic. But here’s the story: I was doing one of my open-water certification dives at Baptist Lake. As the dive began, I found it increasingly difficult to breathe. I even nearly started to panic — I just couldn’t draw a full breath.
At the surface, things didn’t get better. I was so focused on getting oxygen that I took out my regulator and didn’t bother to inflate my buoyancy-control device (a jacket that holds the tank and an air bladder) to keep my head above water. So, struggling to get air, I swallowed about half of the lake. Yummy.
A divemaster was near and helped me. As it happened, my tank shifted, so the chest straps on the BCD also shifted, such that I couldn’t expand my chest enough to draw a full breath. The divemaster re-adjusted my straps, and all was well.
Other than that little mishap, the dives went well. I still can’t hear — my ears remain plugged with water — but everything else was great. Another session tomorrow, and I’ll be a certified open-water diver. Woo hoo!