Under the Sea – What it’s really like to Scuba Dive for the first time Part 2

School of fish and reef diving Ao Nang

Back to where we left off last week, I had just tried scuba diving for the first time and it hadn’t really gone as planned! But Geow, one of the instructors made it his mission to make sure that I succeeded!

Geow first started off with having me hold on the anchor rope of the boat, and taking me underwater little bit by little bit. We would descend slightly, and just stay there, Geow keeping eye contact with me and holding tightly to my hand to reassure me all the way. Each time we descended a little deeper, he would check in that I was feeling ok. This was fantastic, as I soon felt more comfortable under the water, and before I knew it we were down deep enough to be close to the reef.

Descending with Geow diving Ao Nang

Checking in that I was ok once more, Geow started swimming off, still clutching my hand tightly. He towed me around like this for the whole dive, pointing out sea life and constantly checking in with me to make sure that I was still feeling comfortable. Going around like this, I soon relaxed and started to enjoy exploring all the beautiful sea life that you don’t normally see so close up when only snorkelling.

Parrotfish Diving Ao Nang

When we returned to the boat, the other divers hadn’t seen us as we were diving on a different part of the reef to them. Remy was so pleased when Geow told him that I’d been able to dive and gave me a huge high five!

Feeling elated that I’d been somewhat successful, we set off in the longtail for our second dive site for the day. We had a filling Thai coconut curry and rice for lunch that the dive company had provided, and chatted amongst ourselves about all the things that we’d seen on the dive.

We soon arrived at the second dive site, where Geow hoped that we’d see some seahorses, as this was a popular area for them to be. There was a reasonable current at this site, which made my heart sink a little knowing that I’m not the strongest swimmer. I was determined to get back in and give it another shot though!

As there was quite a current, Remy suggested that I try to enter the water with all the scuba gear on this time, as I’d successfully done the dive entry backwards off the boat at the other dive site. I got all my gear on and was sitting on the edge of the boat, but I just couldn’t do it. I felt frozen to the spot, and even though I knew the buoyancy vest was filled with air, my mind kept telling me that all of this gear was way too heavy and that I would sink. Remy saw that I was struggling and quickly took off the vest. I entered the water without it and he dropped it in to me, directing me to swim over to the rest of the group with it.

Geow helped me to put on my gear, and everyone was soon ready to dive. As Geow started deflating my buoyancy vest, I felt that familiar fear rising in me, and as soon as I’d get underwater, I’d kick to the surface in a panic. I was so disappointed, thinking that I had overcome the sensation on my last dive and anticipating that this second dive would be much easier. Geow was once again so patient with me, and eventually I managed to descend down to where the rest of the group were waiting for us. What I found really helped me, was rather than descending in a upright position, I put my face underwater and started breathing with the regulator before starting to deflate my buoyancy vest – it meant I felt like I had a bit more control over what was happening.

Lionfish diving Ao Nang
Can you spy the lionfish hiding in this coral?

Our second dive was just as great, and Geow stuck with me the whole time, constantly checking in on me and pointing out all the wonderful sites there were to see. As Geow was really familiar with these local islands, he knew all the little nooks and crannies to peek into, and we were lucky enough to see a pregnant seahorse! While on the second dive, I did still have some moments of panic where I would suddenly realise how far under the water I was or if another diver would come too close to me, but Geow always brought me back by looking me in the eye and asking if I was ok. Each time I took a couple of deep breaths to calm myself, and realised that I was alright.

Fish eating jellyfish diving Ao Nang
A school of fish feeding on a dead jellyfish

All too soon the second dive was over, and we were heading back to Ao Nang in the longtail. I was so happy with what I’d achieved that day, and resolved to continue diving to become more and more comfortable underwater. We farewelled Remy and Geow, and I thanked them so much for their help.

Surfacing after diving in Ao Nang
Feeling pretty happy with myself after surfacing from my second dive!

So I’m going to chalk up scuba diving as a success! I did enjoy the day, and I couldn’t have picked a better company than Scuba Addicts to go with for my first dive – the instructors were so patient and never made me feel like I was being a hassle or holding them up. They really did devote themselves to making my first dive successful, and I really couldn’t thank them enough. I see a couple more discover dives in my future to increase my comfort levels in the water, and then hopefully an Open Water certification at some stage!

Have you tried scuba diving? What was your first dive like?

Weekend Wanderlust Logo

11 Replies to “Under the Sea – What it’s really like to Scuba Dive for the first time Part 2”

  1. That is awesome that you managed to dive despite your fear. I have thought of trying diving but i’m not sure how my fear of deep water will work out in the end. I may very well end up freezing but I’m happy that you managed to overcome your fears to go in…:)

    1. Give it a try – I’m sure you won’t regret it! Discovery dives are awesome as you get to try it out without having to commit to a full course.

  2. This is so great, good for you! It’s always so rewarding to try something you are scared of and I’m sure the more you dive the more you’ll love it. Plus, if you do decide to get certified, knowing all the science might make you feel even better! I was really scared during my first discover dive, but after the course if I ever felt fearful, I could logic myself out of it, haha

    1. Thanks Evanne! I’m sure knowing all the stuff behind it would help me, and I am keen to get certified!

  3. That is so awesome that you faced your fear and did it!! And that you want to keep going with it. I’d love to try scuba, I’ve only done snorkeling before and would love to try it and possibly get certified!

    1. Thanks guys! Definitely give scuba diving a try, it’s amazing how much more you see than when you’re snorkelling!

  4. That’s great that you overcame your fear. I live in Florida and lots of our friends dive. I’ve always been fearful of diving myself. The last time we went snorkeling the sea was very rough and I ended up getting sick. Don’t a thing when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. Thanks for linking up to #WeekendWanderlust.

    1. Thanks for reading Carmen! I’ve been lucky enough to have quite calm seas every time that I’ve been snorkelling – I probably wouldn’t even get in the water if it was rough!

  5. This is so awesome! I struggle with anxiety and have always wanted to SCUBA dive, this post really makes me want to give you a huge hug and a high five! I hope someday I can be just as brave as you and fulfill that SCUBA dream. Good for you, and thanks for joining up with us at #WeekendWanderlust 🙂

    1. Aw thanks so much! I think a discovery dive is a great way to dip your toe in the water (so to speak!) and see if it really is for you or not 🙂

  6. The pictures are so great! Your article is so inspiring. Hope when I have chance to experience this I can overcome my fear like you did. Thank you :))

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.