The sudden warm weather has me wishing I was sitting on a beach. I’d love to take a trip down to Florida this summer so that I can get my scuba diving certification. I went for the first time 5 years ago in Cozumel, Mexico and I absolutely fell in love with the sport.
I was on the cruise with friends and I was the only one from our group that wasn’t a certified diver. They were all going to spend the day on a dive so I decided to sign up for the beginner discovery dive that the cruise offered. I’d never really considered going scuba diving before, but since Cozumel has some of the clearest and most desirable waters for diving, I thought it’d be a shame to miss out on the opportunity. Being able to experience the ocean from below the surface, rather than above it, was enticing.
I hopped in a taxi and headed to the dive shop with a nervous, but excited pit in my stomach. I’ve always been a strong swimmer, but I was afraid of being so out of my element. There was only one other person in my dive session – a firefighter from my cruise. We sat through the short training class, then suited up and walked from the beach into the water. Our instructor had us kneel in shallow water to see how we would react to using the scuba tank to breathe underwater.
Before going under, I told myself I could panic, or I could go with the flow and see what happened. I was determined not to panic as I dropped under the surface. I did feel an instinctual urge not to breathe under the water, but I ignored it and quickly started to feel at ease. Unfortunately, my fellow diver freaked out and jumped up to the surface. He spent the rest of the hour snorkeling while I got a private dive session with the instructor.
Being under the water, being surrounded by schools of fish and looking up at the sun was truly one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Words simply don’t do it justice. The sound of the ocean was incredibly calming. The light filtering through the water and the blue hue surrounding me was so beautiful and peaceful. It took some time for me to get the feel of moving through the water, but once I did, it was amazing to be able to stay under the water without having to rush to the surface to take a breath. I felt like I was a part of the ocean and it was truly magical.
When my lesson was over, I felt a huge sense of sadness. I didn’t want to go back to the surface. I promised myself I would get certified and make regular scuba trips, but five years later, I’m haven’t made another dive and I’m not certified. I’d prefer to do it in the ocean rather than in a pool in Atlanta, but I haven’t made the effort to get it done. Hopefully, I can make a trip to Florida this summer and finally get my certification.
If you ever have the chance to go scuba diving, don’t pass it up. It is an amazing, unforgettable experience.