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My First Scuba Dive – Richard Koenders

It was 30 July ’08 when a friend and I, Richard, took our very first underwater breaths. (Location Malta, Mediterranean Sea.) During the month July the temperature could reach above 35 degree. Although we initially went there for the culture and sightseeing we ended up at a dive school just to go into the water where we could discover a new world and kind of escaping the sun.

The dive school was quickly chosen based on experience of other divers on the island. Our Open Water started with a session in the swimming pool. I remember the odd feeling of the very first breath. I expected it would be harder to breath through a regulator than a snorkel, but it wasn’t. Now I could actually explain it as well. After a day in the pool, I was ready to go into the big blue. Lucky the next day the conditions were prefect and we went. The first open water dive was incredible. The underwater world looks so peaceful and undisturbed. This impression is even stronger by only hearing the little bubbles created by divers.

By the end of the next day all the students were certified Open Water Divers, except me. I ended up with an ear infection with no time to finish my Open Waterso I finished it in the Netherlands after a month. People may say that it could be poor visibility and cold water, but I believe every single dive is unique and has something brilliants. During the last dive a pike was there to congratulate us with our Open Water. (As a child I went with my dad fishing for pikes, but now I saw one peaceful underwater. Unbelievable beautiful creature)

Slowly I realized that I was at the point to create an new addiction. This could be said by booking a dive-holiday to do my Advanced and lots of fun dives in Hurghada, Egypt. The coral reefs are amazing ecosystems with still little impact of the global warming. Therefore lots of animals can be seen in the Red Sea. Diving with barracuda, turtles, anemone fish, lionfish, moray eels, dolphins and much more.

The advanced course was done in two days. It was the very last dive which had made the biggest impression: The night dive! Being in the water at night with your full concentration focused on a small beam from your torch is incredible. I find it more relaxing than during the day when you want to see everything around you. You actually could say similar conditions to diving back home.

After some dives in the Netherlands and Germany. (No dive-holiday this summer, because I had to finish my final project.)  I realized that until now I did only courses which were mainly focused on improving my diving skills, instead of the buddy-team. Well, you always dive with at least two certified divers. Why not learn some rescue skills in case something happens.

The next logical step was the Rescue course. The most fun course I recon. Even though it is a serious topic, the rescue scenarios are really fun. Together you go through certain scenarios and each time somebody has a problem, from panicking to unconscious laying on the bottom of the dive site.

The hardest part was searching for a missing buddy. We were waiting onshore and didn’t know what kind of scenario to expect, suddenly a panicking diver surfaced and was shouting that he lost his buddy. Quickly we analyzed the best options and a buddy team went to the panicking diver and try to calm him. At the same time another buddy team geared up to be ready to perform a rescue search, coordinated from shore. As soon as we got the last location of the missing diver they went in. So far pretty straight forward with the knowledge from the course. Except the conditions make it more challenging. It was a rainy and windy day with visibility less than arm length. Still we managed to find the missing buddy and brought him safely to the shore. A good experience if you asked me.

My addiction of underwater breaths continues, I was hunger to learn more about diving. Maybe I could combined my future job with being a Dive Master in my holidays. But to do my future job I first had to finish my studies. (Second study) So I did that in July last and then decided to do my Dive Master course.

In a nutshell, because my DM took about 8 weeks: My DM course at Master Divers was incredible. A small size dive school with far above average knowledge about the whole diving industry. Not only on a recreational level, but also on high-end tech level. The staff of Master Diver are high experienced divers who are more than willing to share their passion for diving with you. I would recommend Master Divers to everyone who eager to do his/her Dive Master course.

After an amazing 2,5 months on Koh Tao, Thailand, I wasn’t ready to go home and continued with the internship

Other divers often ask what my future will look like. I can’t give a complete answer, except I want to become a certified Tech-Cave-diver. The thing I know for sure is I’ll dive until I’m not capable of doing it anymore. Just the experience each time I go diving, even after hundreds of dives, can’t be captured in one word. I would suggest just try it once and let the underwater inspire you like it did with me.

If you are interested in writing about your first diving experience  – no matter where it was – then get intouch !

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