Scuba diving. Not for everyone? I agree. It isn’t. It can be claustrophobic for some people, others don’t like water (that’s a big problem). Some have tried it aren’t sure if it’s really for them. Point is we can’t all love the same things.
I first tried Scuba diving when I went on an activity holiday to the south of France. I loved it, looking back I had no control I was more interested in just what I was seeing. My instructor was obviously keeping an eye on the technical side. I was oblivious.
The next time I tried it I was in Mexico. I felt confident. I’d done this before. I thought I’d be able to take charge, lead the way. I told the instructor I had been many times (ok I had embellished, a little) and I wanted to do a course one day. Well, obviously I made an arse out of myself shooting up then plummeting down, fins going everywhere. We were only diving about 5m deep (so those of you who are worried about what the hell the instructor was playing at – I was in no real danger of decompression sickness) but it was hell. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Put me off and I decided I didn’t want to do it again.
Few years later I went to Egypt, ‘BEST DIVING IN THE WORLD’ the sign read at the hotel. My Dad was already a certified diver and he loved it so he was going no matter what. I persuaded myself I should give it another go, I mean come on, best diving in the world!!! I had to do it. (Wasn’t until later I realised every place on earth with an ocean claims to be the best in the world, but how could I know that then!). My Dad went off with the certs and I tried to take it all in, watching what was going on with my equipment. Often looking at the compass or dive computer to see how deep I was diving (only thing that made sense on this computer thing). Also, taking in my surroundings, the beauty of the coral, the abundance of colourful fish. I remember tearing up in my mask thinking how beautiful it all was. Unbelievably calm, quiet and tranquil. A different world to be explored and not everyone had the opportunity.
I was sold. When could I get my PADI licence? I was excited about it for weeks never really pursuing it, just dreaming about it. I mean England isn’t a scuba divers mecca, no tropical beaches or signs promoting ‘The best diving in the world’. Hmph. I’d have to wait until I went away again. It fizzled into the back of my mind.
2012 rolls around, the year I started traveling and I spent many months in Asia. I dived numerous times experiencing some of the best diving I’ve done even to this day. I was still eager to get my licence but I was too stingy with my money. ‘I’ll do it another time’ I’d tell myself.
I eventually got to Australia and got a job right on the Great Barrier Reef. There were those signs again! This is it! I’m doing this! 5 Days it took me, 2 days in the pool and 3 days out on a liveaboard boat.
I’ve been hooked ever since and I’ve been diving in some of the best locations in the world including Fiji, Iceland and Bali.
The only regret I have is not getting it sooner. It’s the best thing I have ever invested in. It’s like being part of an elite group that have the honour of being part of, a different world. I say this because being able to explore the Earth is great. I love trekking and going on long road trips but more than half the world is covered in ocean. Wouldn’t you want to make the most out of your trip and see that part of the world too? I can’t even imagine going to Fiji and not being able to explore what under the water. What surrounds these beautiful islands.
And, yes, you can just do the amateur dives. But you won’t be experiencing the best. Once you are qualified you can go off on little trips of your own (you have to stay with a buddy but better than staying with a group of 6 all linking arms ehy?). You can go exploring through little caves. You can learn and play with all the diving gadgets and if you are a big kid like me, you’ll feel exactly like James Bond! What’s not to love!
Even if you are thinking nope you’ll never convince me I know I won’t like it or hmmm I’ve always wanted to try but I’m nervous. Everyone feels this way at some point, at the start. You’ll never know unless you try. I can’t express enough how much I think this will improve your trip.
Also, my thoughts about not being able to start my qualification in England were a load of rubbish. Sure, it’s a different type of diving but you can start this hobby anywhere. You just have to be committed. I say ‘start my qualification’ as well because it doesn’t just stop at Open Water Diver. No no. You can go through many courses gaining a lot of experience working towards Dive Master or Instructor making it into an actual career. You can do many side skills. Like I have recently completed my dry suit course to give me more diversity with the places I can dive. Next up is DPV.
I am currently an Advanced Diver but I am due to complete my rescue course next month.
So when will you start your course?