Diving the Dream

SCUBA diving - Waiting down below.There are some things in life you fantasise about. Dream of doing but never get around to; the timing is not quite right or age takes over and you leave your dreams for someone younger to fulfil. As a child I spent countless hours in water; pretending to be a fish, mermaid; or a dolphin. Even my fantasies of revenge took on the media of water with my enemies being fed to sharks in the imaginary sea of my mind.

The desire to take to the water has been with me all my life. At some point though fear took over. Maybe it was watching the movie Jaws or the realisation that life is fragile and nature, though beautiful, is harsh.

Stonefish Yasawa Islands, FijiMy fears were rekindled when finally, with my husband’s encouragement, I took a resort dive off Port Douglas. Never one to be rushed and always liking to be in control this was not the dive for me. That first mouthful of water after removing the regulator to demonstrate I could correctly purge was enough. I panicked and shot to the surface only to be lectured about how I could kill myself. This was not the way to learn or experience diving at nearly forty years of age.

I began to think diving was too dangerous for me. That I had lost my chance and should have tried it when I was carefree and young. Nine months later I signed up for an Open Water Course determined to give it a go and try to overcome the anxiety of my first attempt. It is certain that the staff at the dive shop thought I was mad. They had probably never been asked so many questions: “What does it feel like to breath under water?”, “What happens if you pani the first time in the water?”, “Are there big sharks out in the bay?”.

Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, AustraliaIt is now short of a year since I finished my course. There was no panic, some anxiety related to the unknown and a great sense of achievement. With thirty three dives logged and the completion of my Advanced Open Water course I am almost at home in the ocean as I had dreamed of being as a child.

Throughout the year I have enjoyed the beautiful playground of Moreton Bay. Engaged with turtles, giant groupers, photographed wobbegongs and been entranced by the largest aquarium I could imagine. Angelfish - yasawa Islands, FijiDiving has opened up a new world to me, not just the marine world but the earth itself as I search out new dive experiences and locations.

Diving and divers are great fun. People who share a love of the beauty and the diversity of life. They and the oceans they dive have opened up a new world to me and allowed me to overcome the biggest barrier to life: my mind.

Flinders Reef, Moreton Bay, AustraliaFlinders Reef, Moreton Bay, AustraliaFlinders Reef, Moreton Bay, Australia

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