“Did you see the barracudas?” someone says. Another person replies, “ No, but I saw a turtle. How about you Dan?” I reply, “ Sorry, I don't dive?”
Silence fills a large area. I'm looked down upon. Some leave the table while others look away. I've been found out as a landlubber, and made to feel like a second class citizen.
The world of divers is highly competitive where respect and hierarchy are mete out by where you have dived, what you have seen, the gear you use and oddly enough, by the misadventures that were overcome. Divers form a kind of cult. To become a member of this cult usually takes some bucks and an initiation period of four days through the temple of PADI.
So I did it.
During this time you are bombarded with many facts. A couple of factoids that I remember are “Divers have more fun and divers are great under pressure.”
The most difficult part for me was controlling buoyancy and it really wasn't too difficult. I guess you can liken this to learning to fly. Equalized buoyancy can be balanced by the BCD air vest and also by breathing.
Being a veteran of six dives I can honestly say that down below is the way to go. For me every dive is new, exciting and pretty special.
Now I'm a PADI member and I have stories to tell. “ Well, back in '09 I was diving off Koh Tao - Thailand, and...”
**Click here to see photos of Koh Tao**
** Photos below courtesy Golden Divers, our choice of the friendly Koh Tao dive centers. **