The prospectof getting into the water is the same as when I began to dive. Excitement!
The day starts out meeting at the dive shop early in the morning. The shop is humming with activity as they get everything ready for their guest. Tanks being filled, loading the truck and assigning dive gear.
Visitors travel thousands of miles to come diving in one of the most diverse marine habitats in the world. Jacques Cousteau once stated that Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is the aquarium of the world.
I have a terrible time resting the night before the dive and I get there early. I chat with the team at the dive shop. They are my chosen family in this strange land I now call home. The love and beauty of the oceans underwater playground create kinship among divers.
I’m ready for the dive adventures as I collect my dive gear stored from the last dive.
We fill the truck with the last of the scuba gear, and we stroll to the marina where the crew will load the boat, set up equipment.
There is particular electricity when getting on the boat. Different people from around the world, vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, all with awesome stories. The boat is crackling with energy and excitement for the upcoming dive.
The ride gets quiet with anticipation. We are all silent when we put on our wetsuits, except for the odd grunt from struggling to don the wetsuit up over a sticky body.
The lead diver of the shop, an instructor with a dive master will give a dive brief. Please be courteous to him/her. They will talk about safety on and off the boat, the name of the site, the depth, and bottom time and the ocean life you might experience on the dive.
An exceptional leader will know the level of ability of each diver so he can assign compatible dive buddies. This is for air consumption. New divers have a tendency to breathe their tank of air much quicker than experienced divers. We come up together, but the less experienced diver will head up early with the divemaster.
After diving with my local shop for so long, they recognize how keen I am to be the first one in the water. I am so charged up and ready to go; I want to hang out at the surface where it’s refreshing.
Time to do a quick buoyancy check, and then I sprawl on my back and float looking up at the blue sky, unwinding and meditating.
My ears are easy to equalize and is simple for me. I can travel over an enormous hill and equalize my ears. I am happy that I don’t have ear troubles. Occasional if I am becoming sick before I even recognize it, my ears will inform me and there will be a problem with the descent. Nine Times out of ten I am at the bottom first on any dive.
For me, when I travel or even at home, I try to discover a smaller shop with the best ratings. I like that personal touch where the craft is smaller; the service is incredible. The bigger boats freak me out with reports I heard of divers being lost at sea. I like to give the smaller shop’s business.
Questions I ask dive shops: How are the tanks filled? What classes do they teach? One of the other things that are super important to me is how safety orientated are they?
One feature I appreciate with my local dive shop is that they are technical divers. I ever aspire to do technical diving, so this was significant to me. They also take safety seriously. No dive incidents in all the days they’ve been open. Diving is safe if you follow the regulations! Believe me, many shops don’t give a s**t about safety. Investigate before you dive. My shop follows the rules of Do Not Touch and Do Not Take – Only leave bubbles. Ocean conservation is vital to me. They don’t chase the whales when it’s whale season; they stay back and watch from a distance.
The best piece of advice I could give is to research the dive shop and follow the procedures of safety and enjoy the encounter. Stay safe and have fun!