Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Visit Half Moon Bay

We thought today was perfect to visit Half Moon Bay, but when we got there it was still a little foggy. Around 10:30am, we arrived at McNee Ranch State Park. There is a 8-mile long half-loop hiking trail. We took part of it. We started from one parking lot and ended at the other parking lot. It took us around one hour. Luckily when we were at the scenic outlook point, the fog went away and the view is really terrific. One could see the big waves, the ocean, even some rainbows caused by the waves clearly. It is a really nice hiking trail with beautiful views.

Around noon, we went to Pescadero and bought a fresh Artichoke loaf from Norm's Marke (Arcangeli Grocery). Both my mom and Piaw love that bread a lot. We had a light picnic at the back of the grocery store. The picnic area is always pretty and cheerful. This is the third time I have that bread at that picnic area. Then we drove to Pillar Point Harbor, as I am always fascinated by the lively caught Dungeness crabs. At first we saw a shop just at the entrance to the harbor selling crabs at $9 per lb. I ever did some research, it was said that the fishermen usually sell at $6 per lb. So we walked down toward the harbor. It is quite nice that there is a bulletin board marking which port is selling crabs or fishes. We located the boat and bought the lively crabs back home. It is really yummy as even my frugal parents said it was worth the money. If you want to have the crabs caught on the same day, you need to come around 3:30 or so. As the fishermen just come back around that time. The just caught crabs tastes even better.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oh Yer ... Got my Open Water Referral

In general, it should not be hard to get a diving certificate. But for me, who hasn't done exercise for a year and haven't done swimming for many years as a poor swimmer, it is really a challenge. While trying to book the class with a diving shop close to our place, my friend, Cindy, told me a even cheaper place, Aquatic Discovery. I didn't do any research about this shop. Just called and signed up for the class.
1. bough my personal gears: snorkel, mask, wet suit, fins, boots, gloves at the local store.
2. read PADI diving book. If you are like me who feel bored easily with this "technical reading", just do at least summary, review, and quiz part right before the class.
3. I watched the video just the day before the class. I would recommend to watch the video before reading the book and watch another time after reading the book and right before the class.
4. the exam is quite easy to pass as long as you have done/understood all the chapter reviews and quiz.
5. the pool part is not hard in theory, but one could have mental or psychology block. for me, when the instructor asked me to jump into the pool, I was scared at the beginning. I know in theory, it should be fine. Then I just jumped, it works!
My rule of thumb about pool part is keeping breathing through the regulator. As long as you have air and the regulator works, relax ...

1. My pool sessions were done in an outdoor swimming pool. Though it is heated, I still feel cold after a hour or so. Being cold is distracting. So either do the ppol session in an indoor swimming pool or in summer.
2. For Aquatic Discovery, it doesn't have its own swimming pool, it is a hassle to put tank into the care, get it out of the car, and carry to the pool side. It will be much less work and stressful, if the shop has its own swimming pool. But I guess, the price may be more expensive to account that.