I’ve always wanted to truly experience the Caribbean—by taking a dive under the water. I’ve been snorkeling many times in various locations around the world, but it was not until this opportunity arose when I was in Bonaire that I was able to take my exploration of the world under the water.
I had a private diving class from VIP Diving in Bonaire. With specialty instructors and multiple different diving packages, there was something there for beginners and advanced divers as well. Since I fell somewhere in between, it was nice to have a personal guide there who could show me the ropes and meet me where I was at.
After some initial instruction on shore and the fitting of equipment that would work for me once we were out on the water, we loaded up on the VIP Diving boat and set out for a trial run. Part of me was nervous to give this a go. Diving requires some planning and knowing when you are running out of oxygen. Also, the tanks are heavy and require having at least an idea of how to handle them. I strapped on my mask and took a look out onto the beautiful, azure blue water. You couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day to try this out, and I was reminded of why I love returning to the Caribbean again and again.
I calmed the nerves in my stomach by taking some deep breaths. Leaning backward, I tumbled into the perfect water, sinking below the waves. I followed my instructor as she showed me how to navigate under the water and to set a rhythm with your kicks. That was one thing I remembered from snorkeling—once you find your pace, being underwater can be incredibly relaxing.
Colorful fish and white sand greeted us as we dove among the coral”
Colorful fish and white sand greeted us as we dove among the coral. I wish I could have had taken an underwater camera with me so I could capture the pure beauty of the sea and how special this moment was for me, but this is not allowed when getting certified. I found myself learning how to move with the ocean and my environment in order to skim along the bottom.
I was thrilled that I would get to experience the white sand and a drink after spending time down below. It takes a lot of energy to swim with that tank! After my instructor felt as though I had passed his tests, we hopped back on the boat and headed to shore. There, I was given my official certificate declaring that I was now able to dive—facilitated by the professionals at VIP Diving.
For anyone interested in learning how to dive, I would highly recommend going for it and spending the time and cash in order to do it. Knowing that I am now able to do this activity anywhere in the world has opened up new possibilities of where I can and want to travel. This experience was a great example of learning to try new things when you are traveling.
Thanks to the VIP Diving team for their expertise and instruction.
After I got certified, I had a little fun on the island, visiting the pink lakes, and experiencing some of the amazing wine and food. You wouldn’t really expect Bonaire to be a foodie destination, but if you think that, you’d be wrong!!