The Raleigh/Curacao Dive Diaries: Initial thoughts on Advanced Open Water

Angela Perez
First, I’ll tell you I am documenting my dive journey so that one day I can look back at the PROCESS of learning to dive.  If I ever get to professional instructor level, I want to be able to recall the heavy psychology behind learning to breathe and move under water.  Got it?  Good.
So. Over the weekend, I signed up for AOW.  Still in the fever and warm and fuzzy feeling of finishing up OW in Curacao last week, I could not wait to get back into the water.  Back in Raleigh, I headed straight to my dive shop and signed up (not just for that but for a wreck dive in South Carolina and for a trip to diving trip Bonaire that is coming up soon).  When I got home with my new AOW manual in hand, I flipped through it, wondering what all this cert would require of me.  And I found that I have choices in what I want to pursue and specialize in – it felt like CHRISTMAS!  Oh my God, I thought, I’m going down a rabbit hole and I don’t care.  I’m going in with everything I have (and, it appears, with all of my hard earned money – pursuing this sport at full speed ahead requires, I have discovered, a serious outlay of cash.  But the thing is, I don’t want to spend my money on anything else BUT diving.  So this all works out.  Also, I want to get as far as I can with diving BEFORE I move to Curacao so that I hit the sand running.
So what are my choices?  I know for sure I want Fish I.D., Underwater Nav, Boat Diving, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Digital Underwater Imaging, Wreck Diving, and, yes, I want Search and Recovery.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I want to set myself up for eventual professional level.  I know, I know, Angela, slow down, enjoy the ride.  But I will tell you this – I’ve engaged in a lot of things in my life and I have never felt this passionately about anything in my life.  I want to define it, reign it in, control the desire and passion.  But I can’t.  So I am just going to roll with it and dive deep deep into my soul, heart, and the blue, blue sea.   I want this more than anything I’ve wanted in a long time.  And I aim to get it all and take everything I can from this journey.   And I will have some failures and anxiety and panic along the way.  But that’s okay.  That’s how we grow – by pushing our limits and blowing through the things that scare us.

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