Have you ever pictured yourself scuba diving? I hadn’t until a couple of years ago. I have always been a passionate snorkeler but saw diving, with its heavy equipment and boring training, as too much effort. Eventually my reluctance gave way to curiosity and I decided to take the plunge. After reading this article, hopefully you’ll be spurred on to give it a go too and experience a whole new world.
1. it’s easier than you might think
Scuba diving is not an extreme sport, as many think. The only skills you need are being able to swim and… breathing! When you go for your first dive, you are followed by an instructor who explains everything you need to know. Once you get into the water, you cannot feel any of the weight of the equipment. You just need to remember to equalise your ears (pinch your nose closed and gently breathe out against your nostrils) and not to stop breathing. When you reach the right depth, you don’t have to worry about anything – you can just enjoy the underwater views.
2. you’ll meet creatures you’ve never dreamed of
Once underwater, you’ll get to meet a dazzling array of fish and marine mammals. Encountering the bigger fish is certainly my favourite part of scuba diving, but you will not believe your eyes when you will discover the amazing biodiversity present in our oceans. There is a new, fascinating universe down there that you’ve only ever seen in wildlife documentaries. There’s no substitute for exploring the seas first-hand.
3. you’ll be protecting marine wildlife
By exploring the seas, you can actually protect wildlife! By choosing to see dolphins, sea turtles, barracudas, and other sea creatures in their natural environment you are actively discouraging keeping wildlife in captivity. Seeing marine creatures such as dolphins at very close range, following them on their journeys and watching them eat and play while you gently swim, is a unique experience that cannot be replicated in a dolphinarium show.
4. it’s incredibly peaceful down there
The underwater world is very peaceful and quiet. Aside from your own breathing, you cannot hear a sound. It is such a great place where you can relax and forget about the ‘real world’ and leave your worries behind on the shore. I love the fact that you can empty your mind and just let yourself be amazed.
5. you can swim without restrictions
I bet some of you have tried snorkelling. I used to snorkel for hours and hours before trying scuba diving. Sometimes I have followed sea turtles for four consecutive hours (yes I know, I’m crazy!). However, once I tried scuba diving, everything changed. There’s something special about not having to go back to the surface for breathing and not having salty water in your mouth for the duration of your swim. You truly feel part of the marine universe, and it’s incredible.
6. diving makes holidays more exciting
Are you one of those people who go on holiday in a big resort and just chill on the beach from day one? Every day looks the same: breakfast, beach, swimming pool, lunch, beach, shower, dinner, and drinks. Yes, it is relaxing. But dedicating at least one day to scuba diving is a great way to break the boring routine, keep active, and create unforgettable memories, and when you holiday in different parts of the world, you’ll get to experience entirely new species of underwater creatures, making it a fresh experience every time.
7. you’ll get to share something precious
Once you try scuba diving, you will feel like a member of a secret society. The emotion that you feel after a dive is indescribable. Thus, you will be sharing something precious with other people from all over the world – the same astonishing experience, one to be treasured. When I dive, I can’t stop smiling afterwards and I know that only other divers can fully understand this feeling.
8. you’ll make new friends
Scuba diving is like any other hobby: it gives you the chance to meet new people. So even if your friends or family don’t feel up for it, you can always try it out on your own. The lessons are usually for groups of four or five people that have exactly the same doubts and fears that you have. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there! After the lesson, you will probably go for drinks and talk about what happened underwater – a great way to end the session and make it even more memorable.
So, have I persuaded you to give scuba diving a go? I think it is a great experience that everyone should try at least once. I would recommend trying your first dive on a summer vacation, as you will have the chance to actually explore the open water after the initial brief and exercises. However, you can try the basic techniques in a swimming pool all year round if you are afraid about the deeper water.
If you’re already a scuba diver, I would love to hear some of your diving experiences or reasons why you dive!