It was not my first dive. In fact the first and only time I’d dived before was four years ago so it’s safe to say I am still quite a newbie. What I did remember from that first experience, however, was that it was tremendous fun. So, when the opportunity to go underwater with Dive Saint Lucia presented itself, of course I agreed, no questions asked.

After a friendly reception at the Dive Saint Lucia premises on the Rodney Bay Marina dock, I signed my name on a few dotted lines to declare my good health and agreement to dive. I was introduced to Dive Master Lennon Browne who assisted in selecting the best-fitting equipment.

POOL PRACTICE

Our group was small – myself and a doting dad with his daughter who was just 10 years old! We did a series of exercises in the pool, mainly to get acquainted with the equipment and the underwater sign lingo that divers use. Then it was over to the boat and out to sea for our 40-foot dive.

   A treat along the way is that you will have a clear view of Saint Lucia’s beautiful landscape from the sea. Plus, provided the weather is good, a soothing boat ride will calm your nerves in the event you are secretly masking diving heebie-jeebies!

DIVING THE DEPTHS

Once we reached Anse Cochon on the west coast, we were restrapped to our tanks and slid on our goggles and fins before stepping out from the boat into the ocean. I can’t say it wasn’t intimidating, but once you’re in, you’re in!

You’re offered two dives with Dive Saint Lucia, each of about forty-five minutes or until your tank reaches the air minimum allowed by the Dive Saint Lucia team. While descending deeper into the ocean, it’s not uncommon for the increasing distance from the sea’s surface, and the sharp aches in the ears as they respond to the changing pressure, to invite panic. But a simple deep breath will suffice, as it did for me! You remind yourself that you’ve been prepped for this, and the steps to alleviate your worry come floating back to you!

   You’re smooth-sailing from there – underwater that is! Lennon’s calm disposition and steely confidence makes it easy for you to trust his guidance and, before you know it, you’ll be interacting with schools of fish, colourful coral and other slithery sea creatures alive and well in their own element. No worries if the first time around you weren’t quite “smooth”; Dive Saint Lucia offers lunch onboard its sea vessel, then you get the chance to do it all over again!

   It turned out to be a great day for all, especially my 10-year-old dive buddy who even completed her second dive without her supportive dad by her side!