Location: Homestead Crater, Midway Utah
Max Depth: 12 feet in pool, 40 feet in Crater
Date: October 1st - 20th, 2002
Party Members: Travis Adsitt, Mikayla Lyman, Mary Konke, Meg, Margie (Pat), Jen and Chad
Dives: Tuesday and Thursday evenings in pool at Boise Water Sports, "Open water dive" at Homestead Crater
Travis began his Basic Open Water certification class on Tuesday October 1st, 2002 at Boise Water Sports. His classmates were (left to right) Meg, Mary Konke (wife of local celebrity Bob Konke a.k.a. Jake Blues), Mikayla Lyman (age 11), Travis (age 11), Pat... er... I mean Marji Jacobs the instructor standing with iron claws clenched on the kids necks which she never let up on for the duration of the class... Chad and Jen (this would be Seth's Jen). Not shown are myself and Michelle Lyman (we were banned from the class for knowing more about scuba than Pat), and ken (Michelle's x-boyfriend's father).
The academic portion of the class proved to be the most challenging. We were in class from 6:00pm until after 10:00pm on some nights. On our off nights, we were cramming for the tests that would be given in the following class. The kids were going for their "Jr. Open Water" certificates, but their bookwork and exams were the exact same that the adults in the class were taking. Everyone in the class felt that the kids were amazing in their grasp of the material.
No time was wasted getting in the water though, after all, that's what they were there for right? The first day the entire class performed some basic swimming tests. Travis had a little trouble swimming six laps, but only because he tried keeping up with Mikayla, who is on a swim team and is in a pool three to five days a week. Slow down Trav! Swim at your own pace! On a retest, swimming alone he nailed that one with energy to burn. Ken's first day in the pool would also be his last with our class. He had trouble with claustrophobia... caused both by the gear and by the instructor. He bailed that day and continued his class one-on-one with Monty (another instructor) and is doing just fine. He should be certified soon.
As I said, Michelle and I were soon asked to become shadows in the class (even though we were technically auditing the class). Marjie felt that the kids would do better if they didn't have us to help them so much. That's what she said anyway. But there were far deeper issues going on with that woman than she could even admit to herself. Mary and Travis worked great together though so did my best to keep my mouth shut, but it wasn't easy and on a few occasions I just couldn't help myself. Travis ended up helping Mary as much as she helped him, which was a nice confidence builder for him.
First giant stride... no problem. When does this stuff get challenging? With this step Travis became a real scuba diver. Not yet certified, but capable of trusting his equipment and showing a level of confidence that most others in the class had a hard time faking.
After five practice days in the pool, and a very stressful written final, the only thing left was his open water certification dive at Homestead Crater in Utah.
Michelle's take on the class
The last few weeks have been wild and wooly ones for the Lyman girls! It all started when I decided that Mikayla should try scuba diving so I’d have a “buddy for life”. So she and her friend, Travis, were signed up for a 3 week session at the local dive shop. It was an intense study for two 11 year old kids…but they both passed with flying colors. We’re just waiting for their certification cards to arrive in the mail and then let the diving fun begin!
They took their final, did a few more skills in the pool, and then for the “open” water dive on the weekend, we headed to Midway, UT…I know…who dives in Utah? Well, we did. There’s a very large hot spring, called Homestead Crater, which is 65 feet deep and 35 feet across. The water was a steamy 94 degrees (sure beats the 54 degrees of the previous weekend!) and no wet suits were required! Mikayla and Travis went off with their class to do their final “open” water skills and drills, so Matt and I decided to explore. Since there is no life in the spring, and it’s relatively dark, the managers of the resort have kindly suspended “toys” in the water. There was a platform in the middle and on one side for the classes (one having a fake sea turtle nesting on it), a set of “trapeze” bars; one suspended at about 20 feet and another at about 45 feet, some PVC diamonds to swim through at about 45 feet and an old wagon wheel suspended at about 40 feet (with more toy critters resting on it). We played for a while, making essentially two dives that day (we surfaced and rested for 27 minutes at the top to cool our heads before diving back down). The second day of the class we just hung out and spent some time laying on the dock watching the class 30 feet below us instead of diving.