Central America

Me… a Mermaid!?!

Going Diving for the first time was one of the coolest experiences I have had.  I have done lots of snorkelling and I will say, it is NOT the same! Going 35 feet underwater and seeing the abundant life that is below made me like a real mermaid!  I will reference that feeling as I am unsure how else to explain how I felt when I was able to breathe under the water for 53 minutes!

My adventure began by talking with a couple of dive shops and choosing one.  Truly, I went with a local shop (www.coconuttreedivers.com ) that I had read about online, and one that my “guts” also felt was right. We asked for the MOST experienced instructor, our lives were going to be in their hands, and we wanted to be with the best!  Ted would become my instructor, and he made me feel safe and confident the whole time. I spent time watching the video and completing the in-class requirements, along with successfully passing the test!  Now it was time for my lessons on the equipment and putting all the gear on. I also learnt the secret of baby shampoo as the key de-fogger in masks, something that I will take home with me and teach my kids! I am not sure what I was expecting, but that tank is heavy! We walked across the street to the beach and waded in. Ted and I went over the skills that were required of me to complete to do my “Discovery Dive”.  I did have a little “whoa” moment where I needed to surface and focus on slowing down my breathing!  I wouldn’t say it was a moment of freaking out, rather one of, I am breathing like a dog on a hot day and I need to calm the heck down!

Once I completed the basic skills and did some swimming around to practice swimming level, we headed back to the shop for a quick turn around before heading out on the boat.  Fortunately, in Roatan we didn’t have to travel far to the reef.

Again, Thank you Ted for the picture!

I did take my GoPro session with me and have since had many conversations about the use of red filters when taking pictures or video underwater. I was happy with my choice of accessories and that I was able to capture my memories to share!

Lionfish, taken with my GoPro

We found a Lionfish, and some of my misinformation about them was cleared up above water (learn about them: www.oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/lionfish ). 

While under, Ted and I saw a turtle and a Permit fish swimming together.  The fish appeared to be playing with the turtle by pushing it up and down.  So cool.  I was amazed at how much sea life I was able to see.  This experience made me super keen to dive again, and fortunately, I was able to the next day with my travel partner!

My second dive, I felt more comfortable.  I was able to play with my breathing more and figured out how to raise and lower my body in the water with my breath. This dive lasted 47 minutes. We went to the drop-off at the reef.  The schools of fish were so neat to see and made me really feel like I was living out a scene from the Little Mermaid!  After the reef we found a sand patch and removed our fins and had a little fun doing some flips and running on the ocean floor! If you ever thought this might be something that you wanted to try, I highly recommend doing a discovery dive and if your lucky like me, fall in love with what’s under the surface!