The next segment in my Real extreme sports is that of Diving, maybe not everyone’s idea of a Extreme Sport but I think when you really get into it, it is fully deserving of the title.
I never had any interest in Diving when I was younger, and when my dad and sister started to learn, I opted out of the experience. I had tried it in Jersey, of all places (that’s Jersey the Channel Island not Jersey the state), and all we had seen was sand. I also had a few issues with my ears so this didn’t change my views.
After travelling to South East Asia and living in Australia, I really felt as if I had missed out on the experience of diving especially on the Great Barrier Reef which was extremely crap to snorkel. We were heading around the world again and I wasn’t going to miss out this time…
So I took the plunge and took lessons in none other than Milton Keynes, England! That mecca of diving! Ha – it’s funny because Milton Keynes is a city in the inner part of the UK and has nowhere to dive at all. I actually learnt in a dive masters pool, with full theory lessons every time I visited. It was drilled into me how dangerous diving could be if not done correctly. I qualified by the skin of my teeth in a wet-suit in November diving in a quarry! Yes you couldn’t make this shit up… it was freezing and it was gloomy… And when struggling to equalise I soon found myself floating to the quarry surface, I was down 5 seconds over the allotted time to classify and qualify. I really didn’t get the best start to diving.
Since that fateful day, I have dived in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Mozambique, Mexico, Belize, Panama, French Polynesia, Seychelles and Honduras. My god – it was the right decision – it’s an entirely different world under water full of mystery, beauty and intrigue.
Granted some dives are better than others, but when you it a bright, clear day it’s simply magical.
I have also been unfortunate to experience a malfunctioning tank and the loss of a buddy underwater, both which just install a fear and dread in you that is indescribable. Luckily both situations were fine, and no harm was done, but it’s so easy to ignore the complexities and dangers posed in this extreme sport. A friend of mine recently had the horrific experience of a man dying whilst underwater, I am not sure if it was the pressure on his body or the lack of good training – but no one should have to witness that!
I myself am now a certified advanced diver having over 50 dives under my belt, and although I have witnessed some incredible events always take the sport seriously.
The Real Extreme Sports collection now contains…