My best friend signed me up on this. Scuba diving wasn’t really on top of my mind, I don’t even have a bucket list, but my best friend was so down for it. I was willing to do it with her even though I had zero experience before this at all, not even a single idea of what I got myself into. However, she had to leave early morning the next day and left me to do it alone.
It was 10 o’clock in the morning and my roommates were waking me up after a drinking session the night before because it was scuba diving time. Perfect!
I shook it off, jumped out of the bed and decided to get it over with. Fortunately, we did have time to get some breakfast first before the activity.
At the breakfast table, we were asked if who among us was going to dive. When I raised my hand, they were surprised by how it didn’t scare me at all. It didn’t take long before I had to be suited. The suit wasn’t as cool as Iron Man’s but its fit felt great and kept me warm despite being soaked. Coach Bernard gave me a few minutes of photo ops before proceeding with the orientation. He then started off by saying, “scuba diving is fun, but the serious kind of fun.”
I was shookt.
It finally hit me that I was doing something serious and not just something that can be done heedlessly. This is why I paid attention to every single word he said in the next hour (not really, I’m guilty of selective listening). The orientation basically was to discuss the equipment which will be attached to your back at all times while being your source of breathing gas, and the basic hand signals you’ll need to communicate since you cannot open your mouth underwater. The coach also taught me things to do when experiencing difficulties such as when water gets into your mask or when the regulator falls off your mouth.
Okay fine, I lied. To be completely honest, I literally felt butterflies in my stomach at one point. It was when he mentioned that each equipment has a different purpose. The mask is used to be able to see, while the regulator is used to breathe.
Like, what do you mean, kuya? My nose is enclosed in the mask and I can’t use it to breathe?
I began imagining myself underwater with thoughts of accidentally breathing through my nose letting saltwater in, filling up my lungs. I was even getting a bit claustrophobic and began wondering about the possibilities of me panicking underwater.
I also felt like wanting to puke, then again maybe I was just hungover. Lol. For the next hour, I was up for the practical exam! It was held in a 15-foot deep pool.
While doing the recap, we already wore our masks which was very helpful in practicing breathing only through my mouth. By the time we went below the surface of the pool and completely depended on the apparatus to breathe, my fear was gone. I completely forgot about being scared and was naturally breathing through my mouth. Probably because it was calming too, we swam slowly around the pool and despite being unable to communicate verbally, coach Bernard made me feel secure.
After the successful rehearsal, we are now bound to take it to the sea. By this time, I’ve already gained confidence and was already fearless. I’ve become thrilled with what the underwater world looked like right before my eyes. It’s true, actually swimming with them in their natural habitat felt different than just seeing them in aquariums. I even saw Dory but it looks like she hasn’t met with Marlin and Nemo yet that time. It was very serene and peaceful down there that you wouldn’t need to worry about suddenly panicking at all. It was also very cold as we dove deeper that we soon needed to make a u-turn and swim back up.
The activity introduced me to a portion of the world that not everyone gets to see every day. My experience wasn’t even planned at all like I went there without any scuba diving thoughts and now it’s all I think about. It’s a whole new universe down there! Now, I’m super curious about how it looks like somewhere else. It would be really awesome not only to travel the world on the surface but also deep beneath the ocean while of course, making sure not to disturb any marine life.
Where’s the best scuba diving spot you’ve been to? Share with us in the comments section below!