I’ve just returned from a week in Lanzarote where I made my first ever dive! I was also fortunate enough to have a fantastic instructor who helped me pass my PADI Discover Scuba Diving certification.
I was a little nervous about the dive, to say the very least. Now I’m a good swimmer, I’ve swam for Great Britain Schools but for some reason I’ve always been a little ‘fearful’ of the sea and yet I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the element of the unknown and what ‘lurks’ beneath.
When we arrived at the Dive School we made it known to the instructor that whilst we were keen to Dive we were both (my better half and I) a little apprehensive if not a little scared. After all, it was something we hadn’t done before but something that held so much mystique that we wanted to give it a go.
The instructors were fantastic, breezing aside of our issues and getting straight into the technicalities of putting our kit together. It wasn’t long before we were focussed on what we were being told to do and for a moment our fears of the dive were put on hold.
We setup the dive jacket, attaching the tank to the back and ensuring that the regulator and ‘octopus’ were both connected correctly. Once done, we went through an exercise of breathing with the regulator. Easy! At least on land anyway. We then went off an changed into our swimwear, adding our wet suits.
It was then time to board the speed boat that was going to take us to the point of our dive.
We picked up our kit (how heavy!) and made our way to the boat. At this point everything seemed OK. We were speeding across the water, taking in all the scenery of the coastline of Playa Blanca. It was a gorgeous day with blue skys and around 27 degrees. Nothing to complain about there!
As we got closer to the point of the dive, just off the shore of the Timanfaya Palace hotel the boat slowed as the crew grabbed and attached to an anchored buoy, not far from shore. It was now that reality hit me. It was Dive time and the nerves started to flood back!
We were briefed on the exercises that we would be taking part in and what we needed to do in order to pass this part of the PADI diving course. Before I knew it I was sat on the side of the boat, flippers and mask on, waiting to fall backwards into the water. Without thinking too much I fell backwards, jacket inflated, and plunged into the cold water, quickly surfacing and making my way around to the anchored Buoy.
It took me a while to get used to breathing underwater, relying solely on the mouth to inhale and exhale but eventually, after about 4 shallow dives, I made it to the bottom, which on reflection was only 7 metres but it seemed like much more!
Once on the sea bed the activity was fantastic. The different colours and species of fish was amazing. Once I got used to the depth and the breathing, and a few ‘OK’ checks from the instructor we proceeded with a short swim west. What an experience. At one point we even came across a Barracuda.
We were under the water for around 30-40 minutes but it seemed to go a lot quicker than that. Amazing how time flies when you are having fun.
I would definitely recommend Diving to anyone that hasn’t yet tried it, or has a fear of either the sea or breathing under water. The best way to overcome your fear is to tackle it head on and with the right instructor you can certainly do that!
So now I have passed the first part of the PADI qualification, I need to think about progressing to the next stage. Would I chose Lanzarote to do this? Definitely! I have 12 months to do so….