My name is Ethan Smit and I work in digital content creation at the Two Oceans Aquarium. I’ve recently had the opportunity to do a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience at the Aquarium. My experience was surreal and something I have to share!
Before commencing on my dive journey, diving had never been something I was particularly interested in doing. I’ve always loved the ocean and the marine life that inhabit it, but it had not occurred to me that I could ever find myself swimming among the majestic animals. At that point – I’d not even tried snorkelling! However, when the opportunity to do my Discover Scuba Diving Experience came up, I jumped at it without hesitation – one of my best decisions to date!
Despite knowing that the PADI-certified Dive School at the Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the best around, the pre-dive nerves were inevitable. But, the overwhelming nervousness disappeared as soon as I met the awesome dive instructors! The atmosphere and the level of comfort of everybody around me was reassuring – and before I knew it, I was more excited than I initially was!
The afternoon started with a quick briefing of the proceedings and what to expect throughout the course. I then got the chance to watch one important short video, that took me through the safety precautions and certain “dos and don’ts” while diving. The video was quite insightful and effective in relaying crucial information in an “edutaining” manner.
From there, I got all geared up (my level of excitement skyrocketed!) and made my way to the training pool. This was an important step in preparing for the dive. At this stage, I got to implement everything I had learned earlier in the afternoon, while being accompanied by an instructor who made me feel comfortable and safe throughout. As a result of the instructor’s patience and expertise – I felt 100% ready to go!
The time had finally come and I was over the moon! I slowly made my way into the breathtaking I&J Ocean Exhibit and initially floated on the surface of the water. After doing final checks - I descended, along with my instructor, into one of the most beautiful experiences of my life!
After my instructor made sure that all was well, the first thing I did was kneel at the bottom of the Exhibit and take in everything that was going on around me. Watching all of the animals swim past, around, and over me was surreal. If that wasn’t enough – as soon as I began to swim around the Exhibit, my mind was blown!
Having seen the amazing I&J Ocean Exhibit and all the animals that inhabit it from the outside, it was unbelievable to spend time inside with them. I cannot believe that all it took me was a short course (on the same day) to then later experience what was one of the best and most thrilling moments of my life. To anybody considering the Discover Scuba Diving Experience, I highly recommend!