We Tried Scuba Diving And This Is What Happened
By Natasha Van Der Laan - 12 Jun 2017
There’s something so magical about the underwater world. Colourful coral, tropical fish, sea turtles and shipwrecks...the ocean is brimming with all things wonderful!
And while life on land is cool and stuff, we’ve found ourselves dreaming of exploring life under the sea. Diving the oceans of Hawaii, Mexico and The Bahamas rank high on our bucket lists. But, if we want to make this dream a reality, we need to get some practice—asap!
So, when Dive Jamanta invited us to try scuba diving, we leapt at the opportunity. This was our chance to find our inner Little Mermaid! Held at various pools across Auckland, their courses let you experience the underwater world.
We were feeling both excited and nervous when rocked up to The Olympic Pools in Newmarket. Would we feel claustrophobic? What if we forgot how to breathe? What if we ran out of air?! Ermahgerd what had we signed up for?!
Our fears subsided when we discovered our instructor was called Uriel. Yes, Uriel. One letter short of Ariel, this guy must know a thing or two about being a mermaid.
The introduction session kicked off with a pool-side scuba diving 101. Ariel Uriel explained how to use the equipment, how to communicate underwater and—God forbid—what to do in a worst-case scenario. Uriel assured us the scuba tanks had several hours’ worth of gas—phew!
Feeling more excited than nervous, we changed into togs and put on a wetsuit top to keep us snug. Once in the water, Uriel helped us gear up. The gear was surprisingly straight-forward and light (thank goodness for buoyancy).
We were grateful to be in the shallows as we (literally) took the plunge. If things went pear-shaped, we could quickly stand up and abort the mission. However, this wasn’t necessary thanks to Uriel’s patient and calming expertise.
Following his lead, we mimicked some basic skills: how to find your mouth-piece, how to adjust your buoyancy, and how to empty water from your mask. Most importantly, Uriel taught us how to breathe.
We know that sounds crazy, but when we first went under, our subconscious told us to hold our breath. Humans don’t have gills and breathing underwater totally messed with our minds. We focused on what Uriel had shown us: inhale, exhale. In, out. In, out. Niiice and slow. This was happening: we were breathing underwater.
Feeling more confident with every breath, we moved to deeper water. We used sign language to communicate and did a range of exercises. We learnt dolphin kicks (aka how to be a mermaid) and how to reverse, roll and flip.
We were four metres under water and loving it. It was more incredible than we could have imagined. Our initial fears were long forgotten—this was thoroughly exhilarating!
After two amazing hours, it was time to return to land (sob). Needless to say, we were hooked! Thanks for showing us the magical underwater world, Dive Jamanta. Now excuse us while we book an international diving trip and tick off that bucket list!
What: Scuba diving with Dive Jamanta
Where: Various pools Auckland-wide
Price: $99 for a two-hour experience
Click here for more info.