When asked to put together a blog post this week I didn’t hesitate at all. I started diving last November. Yes, I’m crazy to start as soon as the water is getting cold. I have a pretty strong aquatics background so scuba diving was always an interest of mine. It finally took a bit of pushing from my friend Chuck and an introduction to Grady at an NCRR breakfast to get me down to the dive shop to start my journey.
Most of us around here start our diving at good ole Beaver Lake. I was no different. It is one of the clearer lakes around you can imagine how big my eyes got when we got to the clear turquoise waters of Cozumel this summer. I lived on the east coast for a while and ran some beaches so I was no stranger to saltwater, but growing up around here there was nothing like freshwater. On my fifth dive, I decided to brave the cold. I had a big push from Dan to dive on New Year’s Day. I thought, if I can do this, I can do anything!
Freshwater to Saltwater
As soon as they got back from the group trip in February and I heard all the stories I was more than ready to book my trip for the summer. I was a little nervous going to my first saltwater dive. What do I expect? How much weight do I need? How deep will I be able to go since I only had been diving 30-40 feet at the lake?
I got all my dive gear on. It was my turn to jump off the boat. With butterflies in my stomach, I took that leap. Until you experience it, you have no idea the difference is between freshwater and saltwater. I was probably wide-eyed the entire dive. There’s so much to take in and to look at.
I’m pretty sure everything that could go wrong, went wrong that first couple of dives. Balancing my weights, strings getting stuck on my BC, getting excited and sucking air down, and pretty sure lots of other things! After the first few dives I started feeling more comfortable and the butterflies went away.
Now we are back everyone asks, are you ready to go back? I always have the same response, “I wasn’t ready to leave.” Pretty sure I shed a tear as we were leaving the Cozumel airport. Now that I’ve been in fresh and saltwater, what do I say when people ask? I say Get Certified. That way everyone can experience what I did when I finally got to dive in such clear water. Get over that scared feeling of having to breathe a different way, to carry all that equipment, and just get out and do it!!!
I can’t imagine how my life would be without it. All the people I’ve met the last year, the trips, the dives, the meetings, all of the eating we manage to do, and just having a group of people that I know will have my back under the water as well as any other time! Next stop, Mermet Springs!