Curiosity brought you this far… (by Michelle Kelleher)

So maybe it’s time.

“There is something that speaks to you even when you are a child you don’t realize it. It gets into your DNA and haunts you until you connect to it later in life.” – Drew Richardson

The moment I heard those words, I suddenly felt a connection to the world of diving, there was no turning back. I had flash backs of all the times the ocean had been calling to me, and that quote couldn’t have been truer to me. My whole life I have admired the ocean and have craved the surrounding of it. I knew that getting my scuba diving certification would be just the beginning for me. I don’t know why I waited so long. If I knew it was so easy to get started I would have challenged myself a few years ago.

I have always wanted to explore the ocean, I just never knew where to start. I always lived in a land-locked area so the ocean was nowhere in sight. I felt silly wanting to dive, because honestly do people inland dive? I wasn’t sure where to begin, and you probably don’t know either. My advice to you is to go see if there is a dive shop in town. Where is a better place to answer all your needs than a dive shop? Let the pros answer your questions! I didn’t realize how far diving could take you, or how many levels of experience there is, and how many courses were offered. I was easily consumed and inspired when the instructor started talking about the underwater world, all I could think is “When can I start?”

It didn’t take long before I began my certification process. The book work was interesting and took some time to get through. I didn’t realize diving could be such a technical sport. I was rather impressed with all the information you had to know before you could just jump in the water. It was all worth it when we put our skills to use in the pool. The pool sessions were very fun. Starting out in a pool might not sound glamourous, but I got to feel weightless, I could see the entire bottom of the pool flawlessly, all while I was breathing underwater. It was amazing, unforgettable, and I knew if a pool was this great than the ocean must be a whole other world. Time flew and before I knew it, we were going to dive beyond the pool.

I did my open water portion up in Whiskeytown Lake, Redding. We started bright and early. The water looked chilly, and when I touched it with my feet I felt my nerves take over. We set up all our gear and put on our wetsuits. I used a 7mm Aqua Lung suit, my brand new pair of Aqua Lung boots, and a warm pair of Aqua Lung gloves. Once we were all set up and in the water I was surprised at how warm I was, I didn’t get cold on either of the dives. I thought for sure I would be freezing by the end. I’m not a fan of feeling like a penguin outside of the water in my suit, but underwater it felt great! From my first breath underwater until we came up to the surface was all completely unforgettable and a highly recommended experience.

Getting certified took a lot of practice, but it made me want to keep learning more and more. The things I saw and felt underwater aren’t like any other experiences I have had. I could keep going on and on about my experiences, but I want to leave you with some surprises and like I said before, curiosity has brought you this far so maybe it’s time for you to listen to the ocean calling you. Dive into a world of exploration.

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