Cozumel, Quintana Roo. México
We took our first diving trip on our 3 year anniversary ( that’s the wood and aluminum one for all you children out there, or so i’ve been told by the squirrel that lives in the tree by our apartment ), but anyway it’s a special date where 2 loving people kiss and hold hands why sinking deep into the ocean, quite romantic if you ask me; i was a little nervous, a whole new depth of funky little things to see while underwater, no matter how much snorkeling you do, nothing prepares you for the first deep breath going below the water, just a whole lotta blue wherever you look, and a strange feeling of vertigo as you realize the bottom is way farther than you’d imagine.
Since it was our first dive and it wasn’t to get a certification we just got a speedy intro to the theory and some of the basic stuff to get accustomed to our equipment, we did all of this near shore, even being nervous as i was it was still a fun activity to try out, though i’m still not sure i’ll ever get accustomed to the breathing, specially right after you enter the water (i get chilly quite easily and it takes me a while to stop the shivering and begin breathing normally).
After the quick introduction we sailed for a while to one of the many reefs in Cozumel, once we arrived at the spot and you take that “giant step” is when it hits you, you’re about to go underwater, excitement, fear, joy, adrenaline and every feeling you can have at a moment like this comes rushing through your spine as you lose yourself in the deep blue, down there everything changes, no talking, just you and your thoughts, this can be a little frightening to some people, you can always hum a little tune to keep you company.
While on our first tank we took things as slowly as we could, breathing slowly trying to keep yourself above the reef, checking your air supply, tracking your instructor or group, while it sounds like a simple task you sometimes forget about it while searching under crevices to trying to find golden doubloons or that new species of wish granting lobster you read in a chain mail that one time while cleaning your junk mail, now you might be thinking “Well you can easily see them even with your peripheral vision” and while that could be easily on the surface where there’s delicious air and tacos, underwater is a whole new story since you’re most likely wearing a diving mask which blocks most of your vision sideways, now you’ll be thinking “well duh, just turn your head sideways”, this is the answer but keep in mind that you might have people floating above or below that you cannot see as easily, it’s why ducks cannot have drivers licenses, and why humans are so lousy at flying without billions of dollars in external technology.
Let me return to the diving adventure…this dive went awesome, left a sweet sweet taste in my mouth yearning for the next dive, and a salty aftertaste from the seawater.
The second dive was at a shallower depth, this is where my mask kept getting filled with water, both in mi nose and my eyes, and once you’re down there if you go up that’s it that was your dive, no matter if you went for 5 minutes, this is because the measuring gophers that live in your computer can’t keep track of your nitrogen levels (it’s all so technical so i’ll skip you the nitty gritty).
So there i was face all salty, couldn’t see properly, the feeling of water on the nose of an unexperienced fella like me really does a number on your confidence and for some reason makes your breathing agitated and uneasy, now this is exponentially annoying if you’re diving and can’t take the mask of, so i thought “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i can’t breaaaaatheeeeeeeee” for what felt like an eternity in dog years, it was most likely 3 minutes until our diver instructor calmed me down, it really makes a world of difference keeping a calm mind and a slow breathing rhythm, and here i was with a new perspective on life after this experience, to reassure my newly found confidence in diving a giant barracuda came to say hi with it’s giant teeth, it’s quite a sight being so close to a fish that could potentially kill you if you say something derogatory against fish in general, i mean you’re on it’s turf, and while we might be from mexico, the best we could do is threaten it with spicy salsa.
At the end of the trip we had 2 dives, and i had one good one and one bad, so i was fifty fifty on the whole ordeal, but the fun, and beautiful scenery that you’re exposed overcomes any negative of your experience and gives you a whole new perspective in life, a perspective full of fish, and isn’t that what new experiences are all about?
It’s been more than 20 years since the day I first heard of scuba diving, I was too young to join my family in the dive, so I had to stay on the surface and wait for everyone to come back. Now after all those years I had the opportunity to experience breathing underwater for the first time, and it was amazing!
I was a bit nervous, even though i have been swimming and snorkeling pretty much all my life, this time was different, i was going to be 18m underwater in an unknown place surrounded by creatures that could possible hurt me D: haha. I had trouble adjusting my weights, so it was almost impossible to maintain neutral buoyancy but i tried my best to keep swimming while enjoying the new experience.
Cozumel has the most beautiful and colorful underwater landscapes I’ve ever seen, we did two dives, the first one was at “Palancar Gardens” inside the Cozumel National Park which is a protected zone, there were countless passages, arches, little entries and cliffs that will blow your mind and everything was full of amazing creatures. Our divemaster, Mateo guide us through some very cool spots, and point every time he saw something interesting.
The second dive was at a place called “Caracolillo” it was more sandy and less colorfull, but because of the depth it was easy to see all the tiny stuff that lives in each rock and piece of coral. For me this dive was more peaceful (probably because i was getting used to breathing underwater) but definitely Palancar Gardens was by far more beautiful.
It was an incredible experience, and by the end of the trip we knew for sure that Diving was something we want to continue learning, practicing and enjoying.