Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rowand's Reef Scuba Shop

I love Rowand's Reef Scuba Shop (1512 Duranleau St. Vancouver, BC)
I did my PADI Open Water Basic in Cancun Mexico. It was a great way to start. I was able to do the course work then get the certification the week I was there attending a course. That was years ago.
Back in Vancouver, hooked now on Scuba Diving, I visitted Rowand's Reef Scuba Shop. This is where I did my PADI Advanced and Rescue Dive Training. I loved the courses. I loved the instructors. The equipment recommended turned out to be the best in the industry, thereafter admired whereever I dove, and yet surprisingly at incredibly competitive prices.
My favourite memory is first night diving off White Cliff. Suddenly a friendly seal joined our group. We'd just been looking at the amazing phosphorescent shrimp along the bottom. Then this alien phosphorescent fast moving creature appeared. Well, lets just say I've watched too much Star Trek. The playful creature soon became apparent as of this earth and dimension but for a moment there 50 feet beneath the surface of the sea I had my doubts.
Thanks to Rowand's I had the perfect equipment and training for the years I was in Saipan. Willi Gutowski and I would go diving dozens of times in the famous Grotto Cave diving, drift diving with sharks and open water diving with dive boats. I still remember the time we dove at a hundred feet and looked over the Mariana Fault going down forever. The wreck diving shot down planes from WWII was especially enjoyable.
A sinusitis infection put me out of diving for a couple of years but the last two years I've been diving again in the southern waters so was keen to get back to cold water diving with dry suits. It's a little bulky getting dressed and into the water but once under it's just as much joy as southern diving.
I always feel like I'm in an aquarium looking at the fish close up. Then there's always those moments when I'm James Bond. I did grow up in the era where it was Bond that did all the things that now pass as every day 'adventure'. Sean Connery was our hero as boys and no better advertisement for scuba diving than him and his beautiful ladies. More often than not I feel like I'm in outer space. Nothing like floating underwater , feeling weightless, kicking just a little then looking about and seeing the others at different depths than to have a sense of what it must be in outer space. I 'd like to be on a Mars Mission but for now I'll enjoy a poor man's substitute.
I'm thankful to Rowand's for all the great advice and assistance.
I just swam 10 lengths at the Vancouver Olympic Pool. I learned at Rowand's that that was the minimum required for advanced scuba. I might be slower than years past but still feel pretty good about being in the game. Now to check out my equipment, especially equalizing with a dry suit, and I'll be out in the open water again. Can't wait. Talked to three young people signing up for their basic course. Beautiful people. The young man was so happy showing me his 'first snorkel". What a world awaits him. I remember the thrill of swimming with turtles and the excitement of swimming with sharks. All of that's ahead of them. Most of all I'm glad they're starting out at Rowand's. With years of experience and joy in diving I'm so thankful for the great care, equipment and PADI training I received there. I just have to get the new goggles with prescription lens to assist reading my computers. They accomodate bifocal prescriptions, the lower half for close up and the up part for distance.

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