I have done about 16 dives to this point in a week and a half. During this trip I have taken the PADI avvanced open water course from the Blue Angel resident instructor, Mathew. This course has included lessons on buoyancy (some very useful stuff), deep diving to 100 feet, fish identification, underwater navigation and tonight night diving. In addition I have done a number of boat dives. These dives include two tanks. In the first dive we usually go deeper than the second. The deeper you go the less time you have on the dive and the more nitrogen accumulates in your blood. The second dive after a wait on the boat to partually degas, have a fruit lunch and rest, is at a shallower depth to give one more dive time and continue the degassing process.
I use a dive computer that is like a fat wristwatch that monitors your time and depth to ensure you don't stay down too long. It also monitors your ascent rate to ensure you don't go up too fast. The dives we do don't require a decompression step but we always hold at 15 ft. For 3 minutes as a safety factor.
I have seen many very beautiful and colorful fish as well as some really big spiny lobsters. Many of the reefs raise like pillars out of the ocean floor with numerous caves, arches, short swim-throughs and large crevasses one can swim up along the reef wall. This is especially true at the ledge which descends over 1,000 ft. Into a dark blue abyss. It is at times like flying through a forest or being in the movie Avitar.