Last fall, I decided to get my scuba diving certification. I went to the local dive shop (Indy MPH Watersports), got some pricing information, and signed myself up for the course. I begged my buddy Ryan to go with me, and we were off. The classes started in the classroom, moved to the pool, then to a quarry where we would get some real open water training. Before long I was swimming with the fish, and headed down to Aruba for my first open water ocean dive. I actually was certified only a few weeks before we went to Aruba.
Ryan and I are actually going on a dive trip later this year. We will be in Nassau, Bahamas hopefully diving with Stuart Cove’s. They offer reef, wreck, and shark dives. As a matter of fact, they offer shark feeding dives. Yes… shark feeding! I can’t wait! But the more I think about diving, the more it helps me reflect on the reasons why I wanted to dive in the first place.
Shipwrecks have always intrigued me. Not just the major wrecks like the Titanic or the RMS Rhone, but also smaller wrecks in locations that you might not expect. While in Aruba I did three open water dives, and one of those was a wreck dive.
Nothing beats seeing the wreck, but getting to circle around it, see the detail in the side of the ship, even swim through the ship… that’s something that just continues to excite me. The wreck we did in Aruba was about 60 foot down, and apparently fish (and coral) are obsessed with shipwrecks, so there is a lot of activity around the actual wreck site itself. I even saw a lionfish while I was down there! (Lionfish are not native to Aruba, and are actually starting to cause some damage on the surrounding areas.) Every trip that I plan from here on out will include at least one wreck dive.
Swimming with Sharks
This might surprise you, but I am stoked to swim with sharks. I love the idea of being able to swim right alongside these creatures, and have every intention of diving in places where sharks frequent. As a matter of fact, one of the dives that we will be dong in Nassau will be with reef sharks. They are not as dangerous as the great white, but still… it’s a shark and that is just sick! (Just so you know, reef sharks have never killed a human.)
I’m not sure what it is that excited me about sharks, but I can’t wait to be swimming next to one. Turtles also excite me, as do dolphins and whales… but nothing tops the anticipation of seeing a shark in the water. If all else fails, and one ends up eating me, think of how cool that story will be. “How did Ricky die?”
“Oh, a shark ate him.”
I’m also in the works for a short trip to South Africa in the next few years. Not only would I like to see some of the golf courses in the area, but also they have some of the best diving in the world. They also have great white cage diving, where you go down (with surface air) and basically engage with the sharks. They chum the water, and force the sharks to “fight back”. Now, I won’t be diving with great whites any time soon… but that is definitely on my bucket list.
As you can see, there are several reasons why I wanted to get certified to dive. Like golf, it’s something I can do for the rest of my life. I have an obsession with traveling the world, and this gives me an excuse to travel. It also gives me an excuse to travel to places that have beaches! With my SDI certification, I am forced to dive at least once a year to maintain my credentials. So I don’t have a choice.
Let’s get wet!