Last year, in October 2020 when we were in Coral Bay, I had the opportunity to go scuba diving for the first time! For me, this meant facing my one of my biggest fears. And what an experience this was! Diving deep under the water has always been one of my favourite pass-times, but swimming with sea life… well that just makes me nervous!
After taking on the challenge of my first scuba dive, I thought I would share some tips based on my experience. So, here are all the things to know before scuba diving for the first time!
Read More: 10 Amazing Things to Do in Coral Bay
Why Try Scuba Diving?
First of all, why should you even try scuba diving? For me, prior to being given the opportunity, scuba diving was never something I was interested in trying. But, when I was asked if I would like to go I made the decision to give it a go! Here’s why:
- To Face Your Fears. Something I love to do is try new experiences, even if that means I need to face my fears. Each time you try something new, you learn about yourself, you become stronger and more resilient.
- To Experience the Sea Life Below the Surface. While, ultimately, sea life is my fear, that doesn’t mean I can’t find the beauty in it. Seeing the fish swim around and the colourful coral up close really helps you to appreciate it!
- Breathing Underwater. As I mentioned before, I have always loved diving deep under the water. But you can only go so far when holding your breathe! I had always wanted to know what it is like to breath underwater.
- The Feeling of Zero Gravity. Now this is a feeling I love, and it is pretty unique to diving. This is one of the best things about scuba diving!
Honestly, trying something for the first time is always daunting. But heres the thing, you never know if you love it unless you give it a go!
What Type of Course is Best for Your First Scuba Dive?
For my first scuba dive I took a Discover Scuba Diving Tour with Ningaloo Reef Dive & Snorkel. A Discover Dive is best for your first time as it allows you to try scuba diving, and see if you love it!
A Discover Scuba Dive is also great as it is usually a 1 day experience that you can enjoy on your holiday to a dive destination, such as the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. It’s basically an introduction into how to scuba dive for beginners.
What is Included on a Discover Scuba Dive?
A Discover Scuba Dive will supply all the equipment you’ll need for the experience, along with an instructor who will dive with you.
They will teach you all the hand signals and skills that you’ll need for the dive.
Be sure to listen to the instructor and ask questions if you’re unsure. It is much easier to ask questions before you enter the water… have you ever tried talking underwater?
How Deep Does a Discover Scuba Dive go?
The deepest we could go on the Discovery Dive with 12 meters.
Does this Course Give you Scuba Certification?
No, a Discover Scuba Dive is not a scuba certification course. It is simply the best way to introduce yourself to scuba diving. From here you can decide if this is something you would like to take further.
Tips for Your First Scuba Dive
So, while your instructor will provide all the information you’ll need, you may want to prepare yourself before heading on your first time diving experience. Here are some things to know before scuba diving based on my experience:
What it Feels like Underwater
Breathing underwater is a whole new experience. Even if you’re an avid snorkeler, breathing with a regulator can take some time to get use to. Here are some things that are strange but normal when scuba diving.
- It feels weird inhaling and exhaling with your mouth only (you don’t breath through your nose when underwater)
- Air bubbles get in your face & maybe even in your mask.
- Its normal to have a little water in your mask, so don’t freak out and think its leaking.
- Your ears may pop or hurt because of the pressure. Don’t worry because your instructors will teach you how to equalise as you descend.
- Breathe normally, don’t hyperventilate!
Start By Descending Slowly!
When I first started my dive I felt very confident. Breathing felt easy, my ears didn’t hurt and everything seemed fine. But then, I started to get a little extra water in my goggles, which I couldn’t clear out (they show you how to do this too). No matter how hard I tried to clear it, they seemed to keep filling up. That’s when I started to panic.
As it turned out, it’s actually normal to have a little water in your goggles. I still think mine were a little too loose, but once I realised this I was able to slow down my breathing.
By descending slowly, you won’t already be at the bottom if a problem arises.
Focus on the Experience Rather than Your Fears
During the dive, my fears of the marine life seemed to disappear. As I focused on enjoying the feeling of weightlessness, breathing underwater I began to appreciate everything around me.
If you have fears around scuba diving, try to take your mind off of those fears and shift your focus to the aspects you enjoy. The less you think about them, the easier and more enjoyable the whole experience will become.
But what if I panic underwater?
If you begin to panic while underwater, the most important thing to remember is to breathe. Signal to your instructor or a scuba buddy what your problem is. They will remain by your side until you feel comfortable again.
I’m too afraid of the ocean to go scuba diving?
Okay, so I have a few people mention that they are afraid of sharks and other sea animals. In all honesty, these don’t seem to be a concern when scuba diving. I felt very safe and even swam with a little reef shark.Your tour will also know what to look out for in terms of danger.
A discover scuba dive course is perfect for everyone, so long as you pass the medical requirements. Even as a Mum you can take on the challenge! Although I personally won’t be heading off to get my scuba certification, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Not only did I tick something of my adventure bucket-list, but I was able to face my fears and learn something new!