Sunday, October 10, 2021

Return to SCUBA Diving after 33 years

During the mid 1980s, I was a member of the Dublin University (Trinity) Sub Aqua Club (DUSAC) and logged almost 100 dives. The Club was very active and we dived nearly every week. I reached the Advanced Diver qualification in 1988 and was Training Officer for the club in my last year. In 1988 life started to get in the way of diving. First, I submitted my PhD in January 1988 and graduated later in the year ending my student days. I also started an eight-month Technology course in the old Centre for Advanced Technology Training (CATT) in Bray which would eventually lead to a job. Also in 1988, Roma and I started our family. In October 1988, I had my last dive just off Dalkey Island (with CPS) - I remember it as a short dive with almost zero visibility. Little did I know at the time that it would be my last dive for 33 years!
Me in 1987 at Killoughter, Co Wicklow.

In Crete this week I signed up for a beginner dive with Fun Dive in Platanias. A couple of years ago I did the same in Cuba, but bad weather prevented us going out. This time in Crete we went by boat to just off Paralia Macherida beach, which is near Chania Airport. I wondered how much I would remember after 33 years, but with the reassuring and fantastic guidance by my instructor Dimitrios, I felt safe and confident. We had about 20 minutes of snorkelling first in the crystal clear waters before dining our gear for the dive. Following safety and skills instructions it was backwards over the boat and it immediately felt like old times. We dived to about 8m and spent about 25 minutes underwater - I loved every second of it! We fed the fishes and had photo opportunities galore. The Fun Dive guys were brilliant - highly recommended.

A learning for me was to not wait another 33 years (when I'll be 95) to dive again. I won't go back to my College days, but I'll certainly look it up on holidays in the future - especially in warmer waters than in Ireland!

Feeding the fish!

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