If you asked me two years ago if we would be getting ready to do a cave diving class, I’d have said “no way that’s happening!” In fact I remember when we first met Mer, she asked us what our goals were in diving. The subject of cave diving seemed pretty ridiculous to even think about. But I guess life tends to be full of surprises, and somehow we found ourselves about to start GUE Cave 1 class.
On the morning of December 17th 2016, Tina and I drove from From Orlando to High Springs to begin a new adventure. Our cave class was set to start on the 18th and we were excited, anxious, and nervous. However, this time we had some idea of what to expect, because of working with Mer during and after fundies. This gave us the confidence that we could take on bigger dives, but we also know that GUE classes are rigorous.
Our diving has improved tremendously since before fundies and we felt like we were ready. Also part of it was that we could actually see ourselves cave diving and it wasn’t out of our league. It helped that Mer and others were very supportive and we knew that she wouldn’t let us do something we couldn’t handle.
Initially we scheduled cave class for early in the summer, but with moving and changing jobs, we had to put it on the back burner. Fortunately life settled down enough for us to try to get in the books for 2016. Mer had some time before Christmas and it worked in our favor too. So, we scheduled the class from the 18th to the 24th. December-Jan is also peak cave diving season so if you do book classes in the winter make sure you book the lodging way in advance. Our goal for cave class was to not be in such a rush like we were during fundies.
We knew that once class started, the schedule would be ambitious and we wanted to make sure we had food and supplies, all sorted out beforehand. We packed a bunch of food in totes and brought it with us to avoid grocery shopping in the middle of the week.
Since we live much closer to high springs now; we took our time driving in and getting the perishable groceries on the way. It also helped us set the tone for the week and not be in such a manic state. We also figured that Mer would appreciate the mellow version of Andy and Tina. Once we arrived, we dropped our stuff off at the rental house and got settled.
Next, we went back out to EE to get our rental tanks arranged and top off our personal tanks. We needed to get some last minute gear and it was nice to chat with the folks at EE as always. After getting our fills, we walked up the street in high springs looking around in the stores, especially the antique stores and the bakeries. We had some tea and cookies at the Talented Cookie company and they were delicious.
We ended the day by going to bed pretty early because we wanted to be well rested for our class in the morning.