Published on Monday, September 16, 2013 by Jesse Baxter
Humans have always dreamed of flying and while we have invented airplanes that is not the same as being able to fly. The closest that we will ever get to true flight is scuba diving. While diving, there are no boundaries other than the ocean floor and the surface. It is possible to go anywhere that you want to, just like flying.
This summer I was lucky enough to go diving off the east coast of Australia. While I have been certified in scuba diving since I was 12, this was my first open water dive. The only other experience that I had was a certification dive in a lake. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous.
However, before I could dive, I had to take a refresher course in a pool since I hadn’t dived within a year. This was what really made me anxious about the upcoming dive. After not diving for so long, the first breath underwater was really disconcerting; your brain tells you that you can’t, but then you inhale and everything is fine. Then the diving instructor went over all the emergency procedures like what to do if there is no air left, if the mask is flooded, or what to do if the scuba gear needed to be removed quickly. Just going through these procedures at the bottom of a pool made me envision about what could go wrong later that afternoon.
A few hours after the refresher course was my first dive. One interesting thing about diving is that the gear weighs a lot, therefore the fifteen minute boat ride with everything equipped wasn’t that fun. Then it was time to actually begin the dive, I had to just take a giant step and fall into the water, which I thought was a little odd. After everyone was in we descended to about 20 meters and the separated into groups.
The next half hour was amazing. There were thousands of fish, with hundreds of species. About halfway through the dive two manta rays appeared, with about a four meter wingspan. They sliced through the water majestically, just gliding. Since it was my first open water dive I stayed pretty close to the dive master, only straying a little. After the half hour was up, we all ascended with a five minute safety stop, which is a required stop five meters below the surface, so that the pressure difference begins to equalize. This is for safety, since otherwise sudden pressure changes would be harmful, even deadly to not stop for five minutes.
The boat ride back was pretty uncomfortable, being soaked with what felt like 50 pounds on my back wasn’t enjoyable, however the dive was well worth it. After that I just had a quick dinner and went to bed exhausted from the dive.
I decided not to dive the next day, but the day after that I signed up for another dive, this time in another spot close to the original one. I was looking forward to this dive now that I knew more about what to expect.
On this dive there was a sandy floor, opposed to the rocky one a couple days ago. The scenery was different so I saw more fish and even a few turtles. At one point there was a school of fish that came right up and swam right besides us. After all that we ascended and got back on the boat, where a couple of whales were off to the side.
The next day was my last and unfortunately I couldn’t dive that day due to the pressure difference because I was flying out. Overall I was happy that I had an opportunity to dive in such a wondrous place, but sad that I only had a few days there. I will always remember diving, and I recommend that if you ever get a chance to dive take it. It’s another world down there.