Scuba Div­ing for Be­gin­ners

Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Globetrotter -

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IF COM­MON IN­TER­ESTS MAKE GOOD MAR­RIAGES, THEN SCUBA DIV­ING WAS THE PER­FECT AC­TIV­ITY FOR THE OC­CA­SION­ALLY DISPARATE TRAVEL TASTES OF LONELY PLANET MAN­AG­ING EDI­TOR ALEXAN­DER HOWARD AND HIS WIFE, DANIELLE (PIC­TURED ABOVE). HERE HOWARD SHARES HIS TIPS FOR GET­TING INTO SCUBA DIV­ING. BUT FIND­ING THE PER­FECT

DIVE BUDDY? THAT’S UP TO YOU.

My idea of ad­ven­ture travel hasn’t al­ways aligned with my wife’s pref­er­ences. She’s a trav­eler of the re­fined sort, pre­fer­ring a tour of Ed­in­burgh’s his­toric closes, gaz­ing at Ba­li­nese tem­ples, or sam­pling the lat­est foodie trend to take over Man­hat­tan. I, on the other hand, am a fool­hardy trav­eler, pleased to get lost in back al­leys, ride cliff-hug­ging bike trails or head out on mul­ti­day camp­ing trips.

This was why I jumped at the chance when Danielle sug­gested that we take up scuba div­ing, an ac­tiv­ity that sat­is­fied my per­haps un­healthy tol­er­ance for risk and com­ple­mented her abil­i­ties in the wa­ter (which have been sig­nif­i­cant since her days on the high school swim team). Plus, it was a new skill we could learn to­gether.

So two years ago we be­gan our train­ing dives, de­ter­min­ing our BCDs from our SPGs, study­ing dive ta­bles and learn­ing how to com­mu­ni­cate un­der­wa­ter. We re­ceived our Open Wa­ter Diver cer­ti­fi­ca­tion after a week­end of course­work and dive train­ing.

On our most re­cent dive trip – to Bali, In­done­sia – we got our Ad­vanced Open Wa­ter cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, al­low­ing us to dive to deeper, more com­plex sites. The evening after our last dive, where we’d spot­ted a sea tur­tle lazily munch­ing on sea­weed and drifted over what felt like miles of daz­zling coral, we shared a co­conut and watched the sun­set. We had some­thing to agree on. Now ev­ery va­ca­tion dis­cus­sion is fol­lowed by the ques­tion “Can we dive there?”

AN AC­TIV­ITY THAT

SAT­IS­FIED MY PER­HAPS UN­HEALTHY TOL­ER­ANCE FOR RISK AND COM­PLE­MENTED HER ABIL­I­TIES IN

THE WA­TER

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