When I was in East Africa for my field study semester in 2011, I ended up doing my scuba diving certification with a few friends of mine. It was pretty intense, not going to lie: I had just finished my field study semester, which was a tad stressful near the end with all of the group work to be finalized, and had just said goodbye to people had become very close with over the 2 month stint of time, and the skill-based exercises for the scuba course kind of freaked me out – mainly taking off my mask underwater and clearing it of water. Scary stuff.
I am so thankful that I did it, however, because I was able to head out on what they call a ‘Check Dive’ while my little sister and stepdad started their course (my Momster and youngest sister did their certification a few months ago). As they were stuck watching movies, doing skills, and writing tests, I was able to head out for a dive right away.
The co-owner of the diving school near our hotel, which my Momster and all of her teaching buddies got certified through, was nice enough to take me out for my check dive himself. It had been quite a while since my last dive, so I more-or-less forgot everything, but Bassem went nice and easy and gently reminded me of what the heck I was doing. Good times.
We went to the underwater canyon location first in the north end of Dahab, and Bassem (pronounced ‘Bessim’) told me matter-of-factly that he would see how I did and if I was good he would take me down into the canyon, and if not he would distract me with some coral and ‘hold my hand and take me back to shore’.
Turns out I passed the test, and we went down into the canyon. Seriously the coolest place I’ve ever dived – it looked like the grand canyon underwater, with tons of fish. Once you reached the bottom, you could look up through the canyon to the surface of the water some 30 meters above – so cool! Once we had our fill, we went up through an underwater passage way to the surface.
We hung out on the beach for about an hour and a half, and then went back into the water for more – we went to a coral garden this time. I wish I had an underwater camera, it was so so SO beautiful! The coral was all on a giant slope going down into the depths of the sea. Loved it.
I had such a great time diving, that I decided to join my Momster and little sister the next day for another two dives. This time, we went to the southern part of Dahab to the Moray Gardens, and then went to ‘the islands’. If ever you go to Dahab for diving, you MUST go see the islands – it is seriously indescribably beautiful. We swam around these huge masses of corals, and went in an underwater tunnel again. It was a bit strange to get used to diving in a group of people again – there were about 7 of us – instead of just going my own pace with a guide, but it was pretty cool to be able to go diving with half of my fam.
Can’t wait for the rest of the fam to be certified so we can all go together!