A Brand New World

Guy has always been a fish.  He and our sons, Micah & Jacob, love the water.  Could live in the water.  I’ve always enjoyed water, but never really felt like a swimmer.  But I’ve always loved Jacques Cousteau and nature-type shows.  I had always thought that it would be so cool to dive, but knew I never would.

And, to be honest, I’m not really good with certain things, like putting my face in water (even in the shower), going out from shore very far at the beach, being in cold & dark places.  Very real fear factors for me.

But we both love fish and underwater life.  It’s so fascinating.  When we first got married we had 7 different fish tanks, including salt water.

Guy has always wanted to scuba dive.  With our plan to travel in Central & South America, diving in the Caribbean and the Galapagos was almost assumed.

I knew that scuba would be a huge challenge for me.  But I also knew that if I didn’t at least have lessons, I would regret it.

As it turns out, Uncle Ray’s a scuba diver.  He suggested W.W. Diving in Humble (the H is silent), TX.  Guy called them and explained that we really wanted to get our certification so we could dive during our Caribbean Cruise.  (He called about 9 days before the cruise!)  Rebecca and John worked with us to get us equipment and certification before our departure.

John was our teacher.  He’s amazing.  Very easy going and knowledgeable and super encouraging.  From the first time we went underwater in scuba gear, I knew that I’d be able to do it.  And each following dive got better and better.  I was so anxious that I hardly slept all week. But I was actually getting excited about diving in open water (not a pool) for the final part of certification and LOVED it.  With the exception of certain fish…

We dove at Twin Lakes Scuba Park in Manvel. The water was really warm and a bit murky. Visibility was about 5 feet. Surprisingly, I wasn’t too spooked.  There was a submerged platform where we did our exercises.  All in all not my favorite place ever but I was pretty calm.  Until the fish arrived.  At first they were cool, cute and I felt really happy to be in the water with them.  Then I got bit.

One of the 3 places I got bit. Got bit here 2-3 times. You can see the shape of the bite if you look closely. The brown spot in the middle is 1/2″.

Little buggers thought a spot on my leg was food.  Nice.  I got bit about 5 times.  Made it difficult to pay attention to John.  It’s a little creepy to look down and see 4-5 fish in an arc looking at your legs.  We all kept trying to get them to go away, but they kept hanging around.  I never panicked and really never felt nervous until I had to use both of my hands to practice and exercise.  Mostly I was mad.  Those bites really hurt!

But I survived and got to log my first 2 dives ever 🙂  And now a brand new world has opened up to us that, though possible, I never thought probable for myself.

So then it was off on the cruise.  Very excited, but still really nervous.  The night before our first dive in Roatan, I again did not sleep much.  But I made myself be calm and once I did my first giant step into the water, I was completely at ease and so happy!!!

As for the camera, the GoPro Hero3 worked like a charm!  I had bought filters for the dive, which I couldn’t find until the day after the last day (grrr!), so the videos are not as bright as they could be, but I think that you will like them.

In Roatan we dived at Anthony’s Key Resort.  Beautiful location.  I would like to go back and stay for a diving vacation. I didn’t have a chance to check out the rooms, but could see them across the lagoon.  These bungalows were situated on stilts, right on the water.  They have water taxis that carry you back and forth to the island.

The locations we dived at in Roatan were Green Outhouse and Deep Eel’s Garden.  For our first saltwater dives, they were super cool.  Visibility was about 50′ (it was overcast and rainy.)  The water was 85 degrees.  Super nice.

We saw so much.  Different corals (staghorn, sea fan, brain) and fish (grouper, barracuda, lionfish, squirrelfish, french angel, dog snapper.)  Guy got some great video of a green moray eel.  I kept pinching myself and thinking, “Wow, I’m really underwater seeing all this stuff.  For reals!”

In Cozumel we dived with Sand Dollar Sports.  The 2 locations were Chankanaab and Paradise Reef.  Here the visibility was much clearer, up to 100′.  It was a much sunnier day.  We saw much of the same stuff here as in Roatan, but our preference is Cozumel.  We haven’t quite figured out why and we only dove 2 spots in each location.

Here are a couple of videos that we put together of the dives.  Even without the filters, the GoPro is a very cool piece of equipment.  They are about 2 minutes each.

We so LOVE diving.  So much so, we almost booked another cruise while on the ship.  Talk about impetuous :).  But we maintained control and are waiting until we get to Central America.

Our plans regarding Central & South America, by the way, have changed a little bit.  More on that next time!

3 thoughts on “A Brand New World

  1. I laughed and laughed….Tracy you write so well. Sorry abt the fish biting but so happy and proud of you that you persevered and conquered that fear. I got certified years ago…kit’s been years now that I haven’t…but i loved the ocean dives….love your blog…..keep em coming!!! xoxoxoxxo

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  2. This is my first reply so let me start off by saying; Miss Tracy I love all of your stories. The tales of your adventures keep me laughing and in awe every time. Thank you so much for keeping us all updated on your travels. Most of all thank you for letting us all know your safe out there!!!
    Oh my goodness those are some mighty big bites, I hope they are healing up well!! I am so happy you were able to overcome your fear and jump into the deep blue…especially because the pictures and videos you took are sublime. I feel as though I was right there with you, so thank you Mr. Kuyat for your amazing camera work! (Hope you were not bitten during practice too.)

    I’m so happy your both doing well and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

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  3. Nice story. Maybe I can use it to convince my wife to try it! 🙂 I got certified in 1998 and have been diving in Hawaii, Monterey area and Cozumel. Cozumel was by far my favorite and had the BEST visibility. (also lobsters big enough to eat you). Hopefully, I’ll be able to take a trip to wherever you are in a couple of years and get in the water with you. Have fun and I wish you the best.

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