From my very first dive back in 2009 in Bonaire, I was hooked!! Diving gives you that weightless feeling one can otherwise only experience in space! It is so relaxing and peaceful and the amount of life underwater is just astounding!
As the majority of marine life lives above 18 metres (60 feet), the depth we are certified to dive to, I have never really had any interest in getting my advanced diving certification. There are few places in the world where the marine life is better below 18 metres and quite frankly I am happy to skip those as I prefer to stay a bit shallower as there are more risks associated with deep diving. Fran on the other hand couldn’t wait to get his advanced certification because he loves diving shipwrecks and the majority of those lie well below the 18 metre mark!
So, as we looked for dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef we kept coming upon companies offering the advanced certification for a fraction of the price we would pay elsewhere in the world (this is probably because we were already going to be doing 11 dives, 5 of which we could use towards our certification)! So the discussions began if we should go for it! Fran of course was keen from the start and as his dive partner I couldn’t let him get it alone so after a bit of thought, I too was in!
With our first 3 dives towards our certification complete it was time for our deep dive which I was still very nervous about!! We would descend approximately 30 metres/100 feet on this dive which would be the deepest dive I had ever done! But, there was no time to waste so into the water we went! As we started to descend down the line, it wasn’t so bad, despite the fact that our body is under a great deal of pressure at these depths, it is not something you can feel thankfully! In addition to the greater pressure on your body, at these depths you have considerable color saturation! When we reached the bottom (yes, I did it!! Yay!!) we got out the color slate and could immediately see the difference, no longer could we see red or orange and the rest of the colors were very muted! As for the pressure, our dive leader took down a water bottle full of air and at the bottom the bottle looked like it had been run over by 100 cars because of the intense pressure! After nearly 45 minutes under water, it was back to the boat and I couldn’t have been happier, I did it!!! To me this was a huge accomplishment as I never thought I would dive that deep but I did and I was thrilled!!!
Our next dive brought even more excitement as we got to further practice our buoyancy by going through several swim throughs! Some were short and quite wide but others were pretty narrow and long! Going through these spaces with sea life on all sides was just beautiful and so much fun since we had never done anything like this before!
Getting our advanced certification was so much fun and something we are both very proud of. Not only can we dive to greater depths now but we have both improved a great deal while on the reef and are now more comfortable in the water than ever before! Where diving will take us from here we are not sure but we cannot wait to be back in the water again very soon!