My Very First Time!!
Everyone knows how it feels to play in the water. What about being underwater, breathing slowly and surrounded by marine life? Staying beneath the waves for longer than a minute, fighting your body positioning just to capture the life that is not visible from the surface. Trying to imitate the fish, going deep into the dark blue or even discovering sunken treasure! This is what I had in mind when I thought I wanted to become a scuba diver.
Thanks to my loved ones, my first step was to overcome the anxiety they stowed upon me about all the possible things that could go wrong! I got over my nervousness and arrived at Divewise. I met my instructor Amy, and everything felt right and I became so much more excited! Feeling the adrenaline start rushing in whilst listening to her brief, gearing up and checking to see if everything was okay. I spoke to my new dive buddy whom I just met that morning and made sure there were no issues, and no stress building up between us. I tried so hard to be a good student and not a child who is filled with excitement and trying to imitate 007. After a long surface session, we were finally ready to take our first breath underwater. Nothing could stop us now, not the weight of the gear on our backs nor the body temperature increasing due to the wetsuits. A few seconds later, we took our first leap of faith into the water. What a surprise, not only was there water beneath us but also jellyfish. “This is Wonderful” was not the first statement to have come out of my mouth once I entered! Right, so our instructor took hold of us and we all had to now concentrate; descend, equalise, skills, high fives, dancing and giggling when we have completed skills correctly, ascent up and exit the water. That was the plan. Diving is a game of patience, staying calm at all times to stay safe. I might have had trouble with the “calm” section whilst having an epic battle of WW3 with the jellyfish on my right hand. All I could think of was how badly it hurt, how much it stung and all my instructor could do was offer vinegar or the next best option, “wee” on my hand! Once that was over, we attempted more dives and eventually, without realising how much you have improved, you qualify as an Open Water Scuba Diver.
I found myself finding a passion for scuba diving and I just did not want to stop diving until my deadline struck, so I booked more courses until I had to fly home to France. I hopped onto the next course being the advanced course with my initial instructor, Amy. This course had more skills to accomplish, was a lot more fun and you get to practise your buoyancy even more. Working on your buoyancy is defiantly key to diving. Imagine a turtle swimming, gently strokes, calm and relaxed. Become the turtle! Once you have started mastering your own buoyancy, you get the impression of being an astronaut or flying beneath the surface. I must say, you feel the sense of pride once you got the hang of it. Back to skills, more and more fun skills and different dives. Hilarious for the instructor, watching your navigational skills go completely off track. The instructor trying to correct you and your buddies navigational patterns whilst we are all laughing and flooding our masks! A dive on a wreck, a no visibility dive, a deep dive and best of all, a “where is my buddy again” dive where I was buddied up with a junior who I misplaced countless times on one dive as he moved like lightening, was too busy and was never on the same side of me! None the less, more fun, more stories and still fun diving. Fifth and final dive of the course, and I became an Advanced Diver.
Time was drawing near for me to return to France but I still wanted more diving. Diving is so unknown to many people; it is peaceful, calming, beautiful and dangerous if you are inexperienced. Therefore, I decided to gain more experience and hop onto the Rescue Diver course .Becoming a rescue diver is not only about your own safety but also of those around you to. As my instructor (Amy) always says: “Serious Diving, Serious Fun”. I realised from watching the videos of this course that it is going to be the most fun and entertaining course by far. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe losing your instructors black mask in the open water on a surface skill where I was in charge of holding it, a full day in the rain and wind, crashing waves, and wet shoes. Despite the setbacks, this course taught me so much more than what I know already, as I am a lifeguard. I learnt about safety inside the water, surfacing victims from beneath in a safe controlled manner, taking responsibility in difficult situations and handling them in a calm way. I enjoyed this course a lot, as it was adventurous; we laughed excessively and ate way too many pancakes in the rain. By the way, baking pancakes for your instructor is always going to give you brownie points! Once you complete your final scenario which seems all too real, you become a more confident, competent and safe Rescue Diver.
For me, scuba diving was my form of YOGA; I became calm, relaxed and more focused. I noticed more of the beautiful within the ocean; I got to experience life deep below that was invisible to the eye from the surface. They scuba diving life has made me feel wonderful, in harmony with nature and myself. When I dive, I know everything is going to be okay, absolutely no more worries.