Sitting in the office watching out at the small waves lapping at the dock with a pleasant breeze blowing through I realize that this is the life that I have come to expect. The ocean casts a seductive spell over you and keeps on at you to want more. 5 years ago I came to this small remote island called Utila to learn to dive. I got trapped. Not only by this wonderful, charming and intriguing island but by the underwater world, Mother Nature had cast her spell on me.
Most, if not all, certified divers can remember their first time underwater, that first breath, that first descent and many will tell you that it was a life-changing experience. The sensation of going over the boundaries of human limitations, of being able to breathe while underwater is incredible. The underwater world is one of peace, freedom and tranquility.
There are so many forms of diving that there really is something for everyone. It can be relaxing, or it can produce the greatest adrenaline rush possible. It is beautiful, yet challenging, and the dive community boasts great camaraderie while the sport itself can also be a personal escape. It’s a sport full of options — Reefs or wrecks? Big or small? Shallow or deep? Day or night? Of course, as a diver, you don’t have to make to make choices; you can simply do it all.
While learning to dive is an experience made up mostly of highs, as with all experiences there can be some lows. Some skills that are easy for some can be a challenging for others. With most new divers nerves can come into play even for the most adventurous fool hardy ones. There are so many new things to learn that anything can trigger uncertainty. This is why it’s so important to choose a properly certified dive operation or an instructor whom you trust and feel safe with, one who is patient and adheres to standards. It’s natural to experience some concerns or problems as a new student, but learning with someone equipped to properly address those issues should guarantee that the highs far outweigh the lows. Utila has many dive shops to choose from and have something for everyone so be sure to do your research to find the right one for you.
Seeing the faces of new divers as they descend for that first dive and glimpse at the underwater world is magical and takes you back to your own first breathes underwater. They can’t see it yet, but I can — they’ve changed from non-divers to utter scuba addicts.
No one warns you before you take your first breath underwater that diving is addictive. They don’t tell you that to become a diver is to become a member of an obsessive, exclusive club of people who are irresistibly drawn beneath the waves again and again.