She was afraid to go out in the water

I have said many times “I saw Jaws at a very influential age”. Growing up, I had a fascination with critters in the water but I had no interest in joining them. It started with tadpoles. We had a ditch that ran along the front of our house, and it was there that I first discovered them wiggling around. I would go out looking for them every season, patiently watching through the algae for them to emerge. My mom took me salmon fishing, I caught my first big catch at the age of 9. I was fine as long as I was on the boat. As a teen, I would go to the river during the summer. I was usually afraid to go in to the water once I saw that the “rocks” at the bottom were moving. We would also go to the Oregon Coast and I was told “watch out for the jelly fish, they can sting you”. I played in the ocean only once or twice always fearing what might be touching me.

Then I met my husband to be. A very charming guy who loved racquetball, fish (he had multiple aquariums) and was a certified diver since the age of 15. Surely I could learn how to play racquetball. I already loved watching the fish, in the aquarium. Turns out, my hand eye coordination isn’t quite racquetball speed. On our honeymoon we cruised to the Caribbean. It was there I had my first snorkel experience. I was very nervous but the water in Grand Cayman was crystal clear, my kind of pool like water! I was one of the last off the boat. My entry was precisely timed and located with the pail of chum the crew tossed in. I’d never seen so many hungry fish and they were all headed straight for me! This was also my first introduction to using your snorkel as a salt water straw.

Over 15 happily married years later and having entered my 40’s, I wanted to prove to myself that fear wasn’t in charge of my life. We were heading to Maui on one of our regular visits. To surprise my husband, I signed us up for PADI Open Water at Maui Dreams Dive Co. It was tough, the instructors very thorough and demanding. Fortunately, they were also patient, understanding and empathetic, as was my husband when day two of training ended with me in tears. Taking your mask off underwater (part of the training), snorting saltwater up your nose and then coughing into a regulator 15 feet below was HARD (not part of the training). Thanks to the expert guidance and support of both MDDC and my hubby I passed Open Water. I was now a diver!

It just so happens I really LOVE watching the critters, especially where they live. Here we are one year later, almost to the day. We just returned from a divecation in Fiji. David and I completed our Master Scuba Diver status there with new friends we’ve meet because of diving & our now extended family Maui Dreams Dive Company. Having over 50 dives and taken more than 5 specialty classes, we now hold the highest recreational dive certification with PADI. I am a Master Scuba Diver and I LOVE IT…let’s go dive!