Happiness at last

October 23rd, 2002. I just finished my open water course. As well as the pool dives and the class room stuff, Mornington pier was dived twice, Portsea pier once and the boat dive; wow. The spot was on a ledge of Lonsdale wall, just inside Port Phillip heads called Kelp Beds. It was like a dream, complete escapism.

On the dive were about 8 people, including a few I still see and dive with regularly. The instructor was Jon(Rabbit)Warren from Harbour Dive in Mornington, bloody good teacher. The other students I still see are Richard Slator and Glen and Kerry Doyle. The Doyles now own the Abyss, dive charter boat for Harbour Dive.

As we descended down my heart was pumping harder than it ever had before and I'm sure I was breathing too fast. Then all of a sudden from the particle rich blue water came this awesome view of what I thought at the time was the garden of Eden. I never thought there was so much life and diversity, and even colour at 18 meters, so close to Melbourne. I only ever imagined that this stuff was in tropical waters off Queensland and Pacific islands. I was hooked within the first 5 minutes.

Since then I have dived all around Port Phillip Bay, Moreton island off Queensland and a few places along the south coast of New South Wales. I have completed the Advanced open water course and a few other courses that I will be able to put towards a commercial diving qualification.

Before I went on this journey I was suffering from Depression. My wife and son (now 4 and a 1/2) were suffering from my depression more than I was and it even felt a bit selfish to have this time and activity for my self. Luckily it paid off and the joy that our family has had since then has felt like a normal family without the moods and the tears and the week long silent treatment that nearly tore us apart.

I have now talked my Dad into doing the open water course which has meant we have spent time together that we wouldn't have other wise and my son is looking forward to the day when he is old enough to visit the deep fishys and practices his swimming in the bath every night so he can be strong for diving. I have bought him some fins, mask and a snorkel for Christmas. I hope he likes them.


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