I’ve always thought of myself as quite the adventurer, and I love doing things outdoors and experiencing life on the edge. I’ve done bungee jumps, big swings and even jumped out of an airplane, but nothing could have prepared me for the Scuba Experience. Boy was I wrong.
The first change of mind I had in my PADI Open Water Scuba Course, was when my instructor told me that it’s safe. What? I thought that going under the ocean, with a cylinder strapped to your back couldn’t be safe. It’s adventurous, daring and risky! That’s why I wanted to do it!? My instructor explained that Scuba Diving has been around for much longer than you would think, that equipment has been developed with cutting edge technology, everything has built in failsafe’s over failsafe’s and that through proper dive training, the risks are so small that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning, then winning the lotto, and finally being eaten by a crocodile on moonlit evening than risking your life scuba diving.
During none of my other crazy adventures, jumping out of an airplane, free falling with an elastic band around my legs, or being lost in the wilderness for 4 days, did anyone ever mention that it was safe. I had to sign endless forms, prepped endlessly and still told what I was doing was risky.
Not so with scuba.
Through my entire course, not for a minute did I feel unsafe, or for that matter feel that I was undertaking a risky experience. No. Everything starts with proper theory sessions, explaining the ins and outs of scuba. So you understand how everything works before even touching water.
Then, in the water, my instructor was with me all the way. From my first breath underwater, with my head only 10cm under, to my qualifying dive at 16m in Miracle Waters, I was comfortable and felt in control at all times.
So here’s the thing. Scuba is very safe when done through the right people. Scuba is scary when it’s not.
I’ve heard so many stories of dives gone wrong, and anytime anything out of the ordinary happens to a scuba diver, it makes the 7 o’clock news. But as so many other things, the media likes to sensationalize. That’s what helps them sell readerships and viewers. And every single time something bad happened, was when protocols were ignored, not done properly, people took unnecessary risks, or involved more technical diving.
My experience has been amazing. Recreational diving is what I do and now come to love. I don’t care about going deeper and longer, I care about spending a decent amount of time, on a beautiful reef and looking at all the marine life. My first experience in the open ocean was magical. Like jumping into a pristine aquarium, right into a different world. When you dive, you leave your world behind. You become a manta ray. You become one of them. You’re flying through a magical world, and you’re in control.
I didn’t get the risky adventure I though I wanted. Instead, I got something so much better.
I got freedom. True, unrestricted, floating in the middle of a body of water kind of freedom.
And nothing else even comes close to that.
If you haven’t tried scuba, you’ve never been really free.
It’ll take you 2 weekends of fun in the sun, and you’ll be free too.