Learning to scuba dive is a transformative experience that opens up a whole new world beneath the waves. It is an adventure filled with challenges and excitement that requires skill and knowledge, but this activity is also one that can be learned by anyone with the right mindset and a willingness to dive in. The course encourages personal growth and achievement. From the shores of Sydney Harbor to the sunken German fleet in Scapa Flow, Scotland, learning to dive is an unforgettable experience.
In this article, we’ll share personal stories on learning to scuba dive from PADI divers themselves. Join us as we explore their decisions to embark on this journey and Live Unfiltered.
Andrew Harper – Fulfilling a Dream as a Junior Diver
Andrew Harper (@andrewharper364) dreamed of diving wrecks, “Growing up on stories about a sunken German fleet in Scapa Flow in Scotland, I had always wanted to dive wrecks. (Really, it’s the reason I got into diving).” And two years ago, his parents signed him up for the Open Water Diver course just two weeks after he became eligible for the course at age 10. During his training dives in Sydney Harbor, Andrew was amazed by the ability to jump right into another world, even with limited visibility. He added, “A big ray glided just above our heads, that is a memory that I will have forever. Then, on my 3rd dive in a marine sanctuary area two massive eagle rays just came gliding past.” A blue groper named Fred also circled the group as they finished up their certifications.
Andrew is now working on his Junior Advanced Open Water Diver certification, so he can start exploring more wrecks around the world.
June Lindvik – From a Rocky Start to a Lifestyle Change
June Lindvik (@junelindvik), on the other hand, had a more challenging time learning to dive. She started her diving course in Bergen, Norway, in December 2020, where she got in the pool for her first confined water dive. “I liked it, but I struggled with my balance in the water (because we were wearing drysuits, and I got air in my feet all the time.) I also wasn’t a fan of the mask removal skill.” Unfortunately, June ended up getting soaked on that first pool dive, because her dry suit didn’t fit well. She was forced to head home in soaking clothes through the Norwegian winter. As you might imagine, this meant she became ill and had to postpone the rest of her Open Water Diver course. Yet, she persevered.
On her first experience in open water, she fell in love with scuba diving. She still struggled with the mask removal skill, but ultimately passed her course. She’s also pleased to announce, “Now I am working through my Divemaster course, and have just started up a diving center in Austevoll, outside of Bergen with my boyfriend who made me start diving! I have trained A LOT on mask removal and am getting more and more used to doing it.”
Kira Hölzel – A Reluctant Diver Falls in Love with the Underwater World
Kira Hölzel (@Kira.hlzl) never wanted to dive. In fact, she was afraid of deep water. “I never even went deeper into the sea than my waist,” she states. “Although I can swim well, deep water and ‘the uncertain’ that was below scared me a lot.” But, her partner wanted to get certified during their journey through Asia. She agreed to try it out, and on the first day of the PADI Open Water Diver course, she found herself standing at the end of the boat, facing the open water, which was her biggest nightmare. She jumped anyway.
Thanks to the encouragement of her PADI Instructor, Kira continued to face her fears throughout her course, but became a certified diver with newfound confidence. Since then, she has seen octopuses in Vietnam, sea turtles in Nusa Penida, and huge manta rays and sharks in Komodo. She even dived through a shipwreck in Bali, which was an unforgettable experience.
Deb Thorogood – Learning to Scuba Dive with Family
Deb Thorogood (@debthorogood) started diving during the pandemic when her running events were canceled. Her daughter, who was a PADI Divemaster (now a PADI Instructor), suggested that she learn to dive, and she did. Two years later, Deb just logged her 100th dive while doing an PADI Underwater Navigator specialty course. She is now Rescue Diver certified and is booked to do her Peak Performance Buoyancy and her Self-Reliant Diver specialty courses in order to fulfill the requirements to become a Master Scuba Diver.
In her own words, “I’m fortunate to live in North Queensland and have the Great Barrier Reef on my doorstep as well as the amazing SS Yongala wreck! I’ve dived with fur seals in Tasmania (to celebrate my daughter’s 30th birthday) and Dwarf Minke Whales (on a snorkel line) in Far North Queensland for my 60th birthday. I love that I get to share this with my beautiful daughter.”
These stories show that learning to scuba dive is a journey that requires courage, perseverance, and an open mind. It is an activity that allows you to explore new places, meet new people, and connect with nature in a unique way. As Andrew Harper said, “Diving is the ability to jump right into another world,” and once you experience it, it becomes a part of you.