I was not a natural scuba diver…not at all…It was actually really difficult for me, but the experience was incredible. The fish and colourful creatures in the waters of Sodwana Bay are so amazing. It’s a completely different world down there in the ocean. Scuba diving is something I think everyone should experience – even just once in their life. Snorkeling is but a small glimpse of what scuba diving is like but I must say snorkeling is a lot less scary!
At the end of my internship in 2011 Marc and I went to Sodwana Bay to do our first diving course. The package included accommodation, diving lessons and a few sessions of actual diving in the ocean. We did the CMAS course with Triton Diving. They were very good! We were taught the basics in a pool at the lodge. Marc and our other team members were practicing various underwater techniques while I was still splashing about at the top of the pool. A bit embarrassing! My problems were I needed a lot of weights to stop me from floating up to the surface (which is bad because fat floats) and secondly, I felt like I couldn’t breathe through the mask… Eventually I got the hang of it.
We had a few instructors including Peter Timm who was Triton Diving’s founder and also known as “the man who brought the coelacanth home to South Africa”. (The coelacanth is that dinosaur fish which everyone thought was extinct until a few years ago.). I read today that the legend, Peter Timm, recently passed away which is very sad because he was quite a character as well as a good diver and instructor. After we all mastered the scuba diving in the pool it was time to dive into the ocean…
Why do scuba divers dive into the water backwards? Because if they dive forwards they’ll dive into the boat. Ha, ha, anyway, our first day out diving was not very funny for me. Besides being really nervous I also got really sea sick before we even got into the water. But once I was in the water it was much better and the underwater scenery made up for all the fear, claustrophobia and nausea.
It was really amazing! There were so many schools of fish in hundreds of different colours! We also saw a huge sting ray hiding under the sand. The coolest for me was swimming with the sea turtles. On the way back to shore after each diving session our instructor gave us Fizz Pops to take the salt water taste out our mouths.
When we weren’t diving we were chilling at the lodge or eating pizza at a little restaurant called the Lighthouse. They have the most delicious ultra thin-crust pizzas with interesting flavours. Yummy!