Thursday, 4 October 2012

My Fist Dives in the Indigo Blue Waters of the Caribbean….


My boyfriend Tony, at the time, has always been a diving enthusiast and had tried to convince me to take a few dive courses so I can join him in his underwater adventures. Just the thought of going in the ocean filled with sharks and other unknown scary marine creatures, while carrying on your back heavy tanks, was not particularly exciting to me at first. Now, our yearly vacation trip to a new destination was coming up and we were doing a little online research to see where we would go next.  A friend of ours had just visited Belize, a tiny country in Central America facing the Caribbean Sea.  He kept raving about his amazing experience in Belize and all the great dives it offered.  So Tony and I looked it up.  Impressed by what we read, we decided to give it a shot.  Being afraid of water, I was interested in all the charms that a beach destination has to offer but diving. However, Tony was persistent that I took some diving lessons.

Before I knew it, I was already going on a sixty five feet boat to Glover’s Reef in Belize for my first diving course. I felt nervous and tried to focus on all the skills learned and practiced in the pool at the resort.  I was thankful that my instructor at Splash Dive Center in Placencia was very knowledge and patient during my training and practice exercises.  Now at Glover’s Atoll, I kept reminding myself to keep calm, control my breathing, hold nose and blow and so forth. Once there, the views were comforting too. Looking at the nearby great coral ridges, with some rising dramatically and plunging into the ocean into the clear water made me mysteriously excited of what lies beyond this intense surface. 

As nervous as I was inside the sea hearing my own heavy breathing, I was taken aback by what I saw. Words alone can describe what utter excitement it was to be for a moment in a different and strange world.  An ecosphere so close yet so foreign and mysterious strives beneath.  Although terrified, I was in awe of the fish swimming around me.  I saw an intimidating barracuda and schools of yellow tail snappers.  A green moray eel, with a head larger than mine, was looking on curiously from underneath two overlapping rocks. Every coral head held its own surprise. I saw Baby angelfishes, damselfish and tiny arrow crabs and even small worms like the “Christmas tree” and “Feather dusters” which retracted back into their hard shells whenever they sensed danger.  Even the sand held its own wonders. I saw a Green Razor fish hovered over the sand and dived into the sand whenever it felt threatened.  A number of rays, fishes, and eels crawled under the sand as if though playing a game of checkers for their own amusement.

To my surprise, I was also tuned into the sounds around and above.  I could hear the subtle crackling sound of the corals, the crash of the waves against the reef and the feel of the surge.
Belize Barrier Reef

My first experience was both exhilarating and additive. I had forgotten about Tony who was far lost in the gigantic aquarium of Belize’smarine biodiversity.  Unsuspectingly, I discovered a new sport and I was eager to do more dives.

Next we did the open water dive at the Gladden Spit in hope to see the great giant of the Ocean. I was equally astounded here.  Unfortunately, after an hours dive, I did not see a single whale shark until the second dive. Just as we were getting ready to leave, in the distant blue of the sea, a silhouette of a large fish was making itself more visible revealing all the white spots on its body as it swam towards me.  This was indeed a moment.  Diving just 25 feet under water on a late afternoon of a second full moon, had reached its climax with this large breath-taking but curious sea giant coming right up to me. It swam around me for a brief second just to see who I was and swam out of sight into the depths of the ocean.  Although this magical experience lasted less than ten seconds and I ended up swallowing plankton and seawater, it was all worth seeing. I would do it all over again upon an eye’s blink.

Whale Shark
Since these dives, I am a converted diver and a certified dive  master too. If I was told that on the first dive, I would have called it their bluff!  Now Tony and I can enjoy exceptional honeymoons in each dive destination we visit. We have been married now for fifteen years and our love is still going strong and enjoying many similar hobbies and interests like diving! 

If you are interested in learning how to dive you can contact Patricia Ramirez at patricia@splashbelize.com or visit www.splashbelize.com for more information. She will make your diving experience memorable! 


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