My First Dive and Scuba Diving Vacation to the Dominican Republic
We just got back from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic a few days ago and we were able to try scuba diving for the first time.
Scuba diving was fantastic!!!
I love the water and anything aquatic so it was highly unlikely that I wouldn't like diving. My wife however is not a strong swimmer and only learned to swim in Portugal 4 years ago so I wasn't sure how she would like it.
There was a little dive center on our resort (Pelicano Divers) and it was quite busy so we had to wait a couple days before we could go but it was well worth the wait.
We did a test dive in the pool, I guess just to make sure we were comfortable and booked our open water dive.
On the day of the dive we watched an informational video, went into the pool again for actual instruction (hand signals, clearing the mask, purging the regulator etc.) and then we were off.
Both my wife and I were nervous ( especially after the video explaining the risks like overexpansion of the lungs) but the group was small and our instructor (Elena) was very reassuring. We met an Ecuadorian couple on their 1st dive, a French gentleman on his 1st dive and a Belgian fellow who was diving for the second time (he dove for the 1st time the day before and booked his second dive as soon as he was on shore!). It was great to hear from someone who had just tried their first dive and had such a positive experience.
Anyway, we got to our dive spot and rolled into the water (just like watching Jacques Cousteau when I was a kid). It was at this point that my wife got scared. I could see the panic in her eyes and she was telling me how she didn't think she could do the dive. Thankfully our instructor was awesome and calmed Amy down ( she actually did the dive hand in hand with my wife and my wife swears thats the only reason
she was able to do it).
We dropped to the floor (about 3 meters) and waited for everyone while holding a fixed line and fed the fish some bread (too cool!!). We then swam around the reefs and took some underwater pictures. It was a perfect spot for a first dive as the floor very gradually dropped to around 7-8 meters.
I have tricky sinuses and was worried about clearing my ears but it was super easy. If they didn't clear I just swam up a little and tried it again. It pretty much worked on the second attempt every time. Clearing the mask was easy too ( I have a mustache so the mask didn't seal 100%).
Once we were back on the boat Amy agreed it was an interesting experience and worth doing once but she wouldn't do it again. By the time we arrived on shore and had talked about it a little she admitted that it wa actually really cool and that she would definitely give scuba diving another go :) I was really proud of her!!
In short (too late for that) it was an amazing experience. My only regret is that we weren't able to book a dive on our first day because I would have gone on to get my scuba certification for sure!
Upon completion of the dive we received a coupon for our PADI certification which I am going to use. I am looking into dive classes right now. The instructors were laughing at me because they said I was the easiest student they ever had (apparently I like the water).
Well thats it pretty much it! Hope I didn't bore you too much but the dive was the highlight of my trip.
P.S. I suffer from anxiety attacks which causes a little shortness of breath (nothing medically wrong, just anxiety) but when I was under water it was so relaxing and enjoyable that I found I was breathing better than when I was above the water. Even after the dive my breathing was relaxed. Talk about a great experience!!