This past weekend, I conducted two open water classes at the local spring-fed lake. The visibility was the best that I have seen all year and the water temp was on the cool side, but not too bad. I actually managed to enjoy the dives. Once you get used to the cooler water (let's say south of 60f) its not all that bad. I know that folks who are used to the 80f plus temps of the warmer climates will probably think that I have lost my mind, but I find the colder water oddly comforting. I cannot explain it, but I actually enjoy the sensation of the cold water against my skin. I suppose it is a matter of mind over matter.
The students did exceptionally well. I was one happy instructor. Even though the water was cold for the students, and the weather not too great, they did not complain and completed the certification dives and I believe had some fun along the way.
Today, as we came out of the water after the fourth certification dive, I noticed that the wind had picked up significantly and it looked like it might rain. So I asked the students if they would be willing to go over to a local Perkins restaurant to have some hot chocolate and complete the paper work. Everyone thought that it would be a good idea to go, so after packing up all the gear we headed over to the Perkins in a long convoy of vehicles.
What I did not consider was that the after-church lunch-time crowd would be there too. The manager was quite grumpy and was rather unfriendly and brisk. I did not really care for his attitude. No matter what I asked him, he would shake his head and come up with with a reason why what I was asking for would be a major inconvenience for him. Too bad, since I have taken a number of groups there before.
However, for the future, I have found a much better option. One of the students suggested that we go down to the local Target store and sit in the cafeteria to do the paper work. I was disappointed since I wanted to drink something hot (like hot chocolate) and wanted to buy everyone a round of hot drinks. In any event, we convoyed to the local Target and I was very happy and surprised to see a Starbucks inside the store, co-located with the cafeteria. I could not have been happier. We got to have a round of lovely hot drinks while I signed logbooks etc. We had a great time chatting, drinking our hot drinks and getting to know each other a little better.
What a wonderful way to end the open water diving season!