Nervous about diving? Not to worry, a first time diver shares ways of making it happen and enjoying a whole new fascinating world under water, even if you do not know how to swim
It’s always a happy feeling when you tick off things from your bucket list. For me it was scuba diving. If it’s the first time, then it has to be the best! So I chose Maldives as my scuba destination which has a world-class diving reputation. I had done my homework finding out the best diving spot in around Maafushi in Maldives and, I had also been reading up on some do’s and don’ts. The pictures of beautiful colorful coral, tropical fish and of mystical shipwrecks that held my fascination forever, also proved a strong motivator.
Let me share that I am not even a swimmer so there were fears and doubts. As they will be there for you. So find a good instructor, ask every query that is swimming in your head, get convinced and then go for it! You will make memories that will last a life-time. I promise!
All Photographs: Ayandrali Dutta
Here are few tips for new divers
- Make sure you chose a sustainable diving spot and instructor. Dive with Eco-Operators.
- Firstly choose your diving school wisely and check that they are not ignoring the standardized international safety procedures and norms, whether you be diving in warm or cold water. Enquire about the sea life of the area. Establish a nice friendly bond with your instructor and yes you might have done your Google research, but do trust him when you are there right in the middle of nowhere in an ocean!
- It’s normal and very much natural to feel some trepidation. Once you have built a trust with your instructor tell him/her your concerns and be open about your fears. They will answer you with much patience and will respond in good faith. Don’t let your anxiety take over your enthusiasm. Uncontrolled worry mostly kills the thrill.
- If you have any medical conditions like asthma, ear and sinus surgery, cardiovascular fitness do tell them in advance.
- Reduce the probability of sea sickness if you have it. For the same eat at least half an hour before the dive and keep yourself hydrated. If you have motion or sea sickness then while going to the dive area focus on the horizon and avoid looking at the waves.
- Since the water’s average year-round temperature is around 29°C you can choose to not wear the diving gear rather wear some well tight fitted clothes and take the dive. Though don’t forget to take the divers opinion.
- Before you take the plunge make sure to check all your diving equipment like broken buckles, air leaks, and check the needle on your air gauge when you take a breath out of your regulator.
- Have your breathing rules right- slowly and slightly deeper than normal and relax as you pace yourself. Breathing underwater is an amazing experience but remember never hold your breath while using a scuba regulator. The instructor will do all the checks ensuring the right air supply.
- Don’t dive with any open wounds. It might be dangerous for you as around coral reef the skin is more susceptible for infection.
Just remember diving is no race. Take it slow, breathe right and be steady as you see some amazing underwater scenery and get ready for the most spectacular adventures possible in nature.