Scuba diving for the first time
Scuba diving is always something that I really wanted to try and when I was doing my activities research for my trip to Kos, I found that there was a diving centre a 10 minute walk from my hotel. Taking the bull by the horns, I emailed the company and booked myself in for a 2 dive day trip.
The days leading up to the diving trip, my husband and I went snorkeling in the sea near our hotel. My logic was that if I could go snorkeling with no problems, scuba diving would be a breeze. How wrong was I!
On the day of the trip, I was so excited, we got to Arian Diving Centre early to get paid up and sort out my wet suit, I was very happy to find that they had one to fit me due to my size but they did say that if they couldn’t find one to fit me, I could just do the dive in my swimming costume.
We had to wait for a few other people to turn up so we sat on a bench just chilling out in the sun.
When it was time to leave, we got on the boat and we were off. The journey to the diving site was about 20 minutes so everyone enjoyed the views along the way.
We were sorted into our groups and we had our safety briefing. All still great, I was still very excited and trying to remember all the sand signals.
**Note for the future, thumbs up means you want to go back to the surface so you have to do the “ok” sign to let everyone know you are ok.
Then my team got called to the back of the boat to have the equipment put on us and it felt like my heart was beating so fast that it would be a blur if you could see it. I had everything strapped on my back and I’m not going to lie, it was seriously heavy. I had a special jacket on that the instructors could fill with air when we needed to go back to the surface or release the air so that we could float down to the bottom. We also had some little weights put in pockets to make sure we would float down.
I got told how to get in the water from the boat, this was the first time I panicked a little bit. I had to sit on the side of the boat with my back facing the sea, hold my mask with one hand, the respirator with the other and just fall backwards. I knew that there were 2 instructors in the water so I was going to be fine but my heart was now beating so fast that I thought it would burst out my chest and I was getting quite anxious. I felt really hot but I kept telling myself that it was because it was a hot day and I was in a wet suit.
“Stop being a prat and enjoy this!” A voice screamed at me in my head as I fell backwards off the boat and hit the water. The instructor got hold of me straight away and pulled me up to the surface, everything was fine. “Prat!” The voice said and I felt a bit silly for being worried.
I swam over to the rest of my group as best as I could because I wasn’t used to wearing flippers and I hadn’t any idea what I was doing.
Everyone was told that we were all going to hold hands, go face down in the water and swim for a minute or 2 before they started taking the air out of our jackets so that we would start drifting down to the bottom.
Heart started racing again, anxiety creepy in as I put my mask back on and put the respirator in my mouth before taking 2 people by the hand and going face down in the water.
It sounds like the simplest thing to do but telling my body to breath normally was impossible. I told myself to breath in which I did but then I didn’t breath out, I was holding my breath. I told myself to breath out and I did but then panicked because I was under water and had just blown all the air out of lungs.
“Breath in!” The voice screamed in my head but I couldn’t do it, I thought I was just going to suck in water if I took a breath in.
I let go of the 2 people I was holding hands with and got my head out the water. One of the instructors, Will, had noticed something was wrong and was right there next to me. He got hold of me as I pulled the respirator out of my mouth and tried to take a big lungful of air. I was hyperventilating, I couldn’t breathe properly, I was completely panicked and scared that the equipment was so heavy that it would pull me under the water. I must of looked like a kid that just got thrown into a pool to learn to swim.
Then Will very calmly reminded me how to breath, sounds mega stupid but I really needed to be told. He held my hands as we floated in the water and we took big deep breaths together until my breathing was back to normal.
When I felt better, we swam over to a tiny pebble beach so that I could stand upright in the water. This made me feel so much better and when I was ready, Will held my hand while we walked into the sea.
He had me put the respirator in my mouth so that I could get used to breathing with it before my head went under the water again. He carried on holding my hand and stayed with me until I was back with the group on the seafloor and he was sure I was OK.
I do not know what I would of done without Will, he was so professional and an absolutely amazing bloke.
I then went on to have an amazing dive from the bottom of the Arian sea. I was down there for about an hour and loved every minute of it. We went in a circle round one side of the boat for the first dive and then round in a circle on the other side of the boat for the second dive.
It was just out of this world, being so close to the fish, seeing the little caves where they lived, feeling the movement of the sea, gliding over rocks and trying not to bang your knees on those rocks haha.
One thing that was suggested to me before the dive and I would highly suggest to anyone who does one is to look up at the sky when you are at the bottom of the sea. It is a weirdly distorted but beautiful view to see and when I did it I thought, “that’s how fish see the world”.
I loved it so much that I am saving up to do my PADI open water course.