This is the latest victim of my diving enthusiasm and my personal quest to take as many people down as I possibly can. Down as in under water that is. I have taken hundreds of people on their very first dive ever and introduced them to the amazing world that is just below the surface, well, sometimes it's a little deeper than that. But I love seeing people's faces light up when they see their very first shark underwater, or get to swim with a green sea turtle, or just at being totally surrounded by fish. Nina Rivera became my latest first time diver as she dove the Grotto Saturday morning. She did great and fell in love with it immediately, something tells me the fish will be seeing a lot more of her. And don't worry about the unstylish dive boots Nina, I'm sure nobody will notice!
Christine is a teacher who has been here for several years, and just took her first dive a few weeks ago as well. She finally decided to see what her friends were talking about and find out just what it was like down there for herself. The first time she tried diving, she wasn't clearing her ears properly, but once we got that figured out, she was good to go on the next dive. How can you not love cruising along a coral encrusted wall at Wing Beach that is full of eels and lionfish? Pictures are awesome, and they really help if you've never been down there, but there is nothing like seeing those critters in their natural habitat and watching them right in front of you.
And this last first time underwater tourist is Semona Igama. Semona was my intern at the station last summer, and she had to suffer through all my dive stories every Monday morning. For a year she kept saying she wanted to go diving and see what it was like, but it took nearly a year for her to finally work up the courage and take the plunge. Once she finally did it, she was amazed how easy it was and how much fun it was. I think she also plans on doing more diving, but you never really know with her, time will tell. The one thing that all 3 of these young ladies had in common was a fear of the unknown, and being really nervous about trying diving. But as soon as each of them got down, they fell in love with it. It truly is a magical world down there, and no matter how good the pictures are, they simply don't do the experience justice, it's something you just have to do in person to truly "get it".
You just never know what you're going to run into down there. Nina got to see sharks and a turtle on her very first dive. Christine got to see eels and lionfish on her first dive. And Semona got to see a turtle, eels, lionfish and an octopus on her first dive. If you've always thought about going diving, but have let nervousness or fear of the unknown stop you, talk to one of these young ladies and find out about their experience. I think they would all encourage you to take the plunge and exlore why it's really worth the effort to explore something that most people never get the opportunity to see in person. And when you see some guy with a shaved head that only breathes occasionally, and is just sitting taking pictures of something over and over, go ahead and wave, that would be me.