I was nervous as hell and as excited as a baby baboon on my first dive. A lot can go wrong under water and it took a while to master the art of mask-clearing in the practice pool sessions. There was some apprehension about our venture into the deep blue.
We piled into the boat and sped off to two mile reef. My stomach lurched a little but it wasn’t long before we put palms over our masks, dipped backwards and plunged into the sea. Here's why I'm going back for more.
Sodwana Bay lies on the eastern coast of South Africa, is part of South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, home to the southernmost coral reefs in Africa and scenic scuba diving Shangri-La.
The Indian Ocean is beautifully warm and the beach scuttling with crabs in the foam. In summer, divers throng under beach shelters kitting up and waiting for their boat to beach, children splash in the lagoon, locals walk the beaches selling little wooden boats and Land Rovers while fisherman try their best to get as far away from the bedlam to land their catch without having their line interrupted by said boats and children.
I went straight from practising in the pool at Coral Divers in the morning to diving 10-metres underwater before midday - hence the little spurts of apprehension. Luckily for me, excitement won over the anxiety. Every sliver of worry dissolved as soon as took the first breaths beneath the surface.
I’d call it breath-taking if it wasn’t for the air cylinder on my back. Scuba diving in Sodwana Bay is Finding Nemo in real life. Colourful coral reefs, slow peaceful turtles, dust-spraying sting rays, bobbing eels and an incredible variety of tropical fish.
I went underwater twice, but it’s definitely not enough. This is why I am returning to these beautiful depths and completing a PADI open water course. I cannot wait to explore the waters of the world.