Imagine this: you’re 15 meters below the ocean’s surface, silently gliding through the water. The only sound is you slowly breathing in and out. Suddenly, you’re face to face with a group of Bumphead Parrotfish….and then a bright orange Clownfish peering from a swaying anemone. You even spot a turtle drifting through the ocean.
Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? It’s even more remarkable to experience scuba diving first hand in the deep blue sea.
Growing up, I always had an affinity with water and the underwater world. I even wrote my Grade 7 speech on tropical fish. I totally nerded out researching all of the different species! My fascination with marine life gradually grew. I couldn’t get enough of snorkelling on vacations. I could float on the water all day long, chasing fish and gazing at the amazing world just feet below. I yearned to take it further by learning to scuba dive. I finally scratched that itch this year and became certified as an Open Water Diver.
After researching trillions of dive shops, I chose Adventure Divers Bali. What appealed to me was that the company offered a well-taught, economical course; all dives are in the ocean (instead of a pool); you’re taken to a new dive site each time; and you’re doing it in paradise! Plus, I got to dive through a shipwreck! How cool is that?
On my first day, I was excited but also nervous. Questions ruminated through my mind. What will it be like to breathe under water? Will I be any good? Will I panic? Will diving live up to the romantic picture I had painted in my mind? My anxiety disappeared once I took my first dive with Dive Master David Mitchell. With an amazing instructor like David, it was easy to learn and an incredible experience.The first step to becoming a certified diver is to complete an Open Water Certification course. This involves learning theory, passing a written test, and completing 4-5 skill-based dives. The textbook component involves learning all about your equipment and important safety principles, like the effects of depth and pressure on the body.
The fun begins with the practical component! This is when you really learn to dive. During the compulsory dives, I practiced essential skills – such as communicating underwater, reading your air gauge, descending and ascending safely, and emergency procedures, like sharing air with your buddy…all while exploring the ocean! At first, I focused a lot on remembering and doing everything correctly. But after a handful of dives, I started to relax, absorbing everything around me with wide-eyed wonder and sheer enjoyment.
If you are interested in trying scuba diving, but are not sure about committing to a full certification course, give it a shot by taking a quick introductory class to give you a feel for what it’s like.
After becoming certified I was hooked. The beauty of diving is that you can immerse yourself in a totally different and fascinating place. You’re just an observer in this huge aquatic world. Every time you set your flippers into the water, you discover something new. Life happens so quietly and stealthily here. Fish and other creatures can slip by, without you even knowing it. You can blink and miss something as it zips out of sight, like a tiny camouflaged Seahorse or Mimic Octopus.
There is nothing quite like it.