My First Scuba Dive is intended to be a series of posts from guest writers and Master Divers folk too where they can share the wonder of their first dive. If you have a story to share please read the details at the bottom and you too could be featured! This one comes from Bethan Grylls.
I wasn’t too keen on the idea of scuba diving, frankly it scared the living daylights out of me, but I was going with my two close friends, Amelia and Lucy, to Makadi Bay and they were both keen to experience it. Amelia had even researched into the best spots to go and pleaded with me for days, saying that it was meant to be one of the most beautiful, unforgettable and breath-taking experiences. “Breath-taking…nice choice of words Amelia…” But finally, I gave in…
We were told that we would be undergoing three tests (I tried to use this to my advantage, “do we really want to take not just one, but three tests guys…on holiday!?” Apparently, we did.)
After somehow passing these tests, we were scheduled for a real diving session. I was kitted out in the gear, although I didn’t feel professional, I felt clumsy and uncomfortable. We stepped into the sea, looking rather like futuristic penguins with our flippers on. Our instructor, Chenzira was lovely and extremely patient (which was good, because I was so rubbish).
Chenzira told us to put in our regulators. I tried to remain calm, but my stomach had become knotted and my breathing irregular. Amelia squeezed my hand and Lucy the other, but both were, unlike me, itching to get started. Chenzira smiled warmly at me, his eyes full of reassurance. I told myself I was being silly. I watched Chenzira, Amelia, Lucy and the rest of the group go under. I was frozen for a few seconds, but then told myself to get over it. It was exactly like the pool, I was in safe hands. I’M GOING TO DIE! (A very rational thought at the time) No! I’m not going to die. I’m going to love this. I forced myself in.
Amelia and Lucy waved at me enthusiastically as I joined them underwater. I must have looked scared because Chenzira signaled to see if I was OK, I nodded, although my heart felt like it was going to collapse in on itself any moment.
Chenzira then got us all to clear our masks out. My hands shook as my fingers gently prised my mask away from my forehead. I felt disconcerted about letting my mask fill with water, but I’d done it in the training pool and after the initial panic it wasn’t so bad, it was a bit like giving my nose a bath! Chenzira then asked us all to breathe off our buddies, this was easier said than done, but we managed it.
We swam deeper down into the depths of the sea. I could feel my heart racing and I wasn’t yet used to swimming with all this kit. I felt a bit like a clumsy, high-tech mermaid.
Suddenly I became surrounded by a rainbow of fish, I felt like I had entered a completely different world. Then all of a sudden it was time to surface. I looked around disappointed; I didn’t want to be stripped of this world yet, but our air was running low so we had no choice but to leave.
The next day we were set to go deeper. I could feel myself panicking again, but I was soon distracted by a rainbow of fish darting past my very eyes. I suddenly realised why Lucy and Amelia were so keen to scuba dive, this was…incredible! I gave them both two thumbs up and swam further down to admire the coral. Amelia tapped me and I turned around to see two dolphins swimming past us. I stared in awe as they twisted and turned in perfect synchronisation. There was nothing quite like this feeling. I was proud I had done this and these memories of my first (but not the last) dive will stay with me forever.
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