Today I went SCUBA diving in Mo’orea for the first time! We are going to be using SCUBA a lot for our projects, and before they let us loose on the reefs of French Polynesia, our professor and T.A.s took us out for a “check out dive” around the reef in front of the station. It was a quick 20-minute dive where we just swam back and forth along the edge of the reef, but after we surfaced and it was determined that we were competent breathing air underwater, we were given the go-ahead to do dives whenever we please without supervision. So right after we finished our check-out dive, 4 of us jumped right back in the water and swam out to the reef to do our first dives independent of an instructor.
The area that we went diving in was a bit murky, but we were able to see some cool fish and invertebrates. The 4 of us who were on the dive all took the same diving class at UCLA and got certified together, so after 2 quarters of training, it was really fun to finally have the skills to use SCUBA as a tool to explore and do work underwater.