During our visit to USVI we bought PADI diving open water course study packs. We had to read through these and answer loads of questions about Nitrogen and buoyancy etc.
Once back in BVI we did a 4 day Open Water Diver course with Sail Caribbean Divers of Hodges Creek. The course consisted of one morning of theory and a test then the afternoon in a pool at the Sunsail base in Road Town getting used to the gear. Day 2 was confined water diving learning skills, we did this at Cooper Island. After 4 dives entering the water from the beach we were knackered but did start to appreciate the new world that diving will open up to us.
Then a day off followed by 4 open water dives from the dive boat, 2 each on days 3 and 4. These were great with more skills and repeat practice of basic safety techniques but a chance to swim around and see the Coral and fish, sadly no cameras were allowed on the course.
We passed and are now certificated PADI open water divers, so as we visit other islands we can hire the gear and dive with other dive companies.
After a few days in USVI we moved onto Culebra in Puerto Rico. The locals were friendly and the small town was fun with bars and restaurants and easy dinghy docking.
We were invited for Christmas dinner aboard Villomee by Jan and Trevor, where we heard great tales of sailing in the Pacific from our hosts and John and Ellie from Serenity. Both boats were Salty Dawg Rally boats.
Of course being from New Zealand we were served with New Zealand Lamb in place of the traditional Turkey, lovely.