Saturday, January 12, 2013

Can I dive if I can't swim? Can I dive if I am on the wheelchair?

I know that I haven't been writing for a while - it has been conected with the reality that I moved myself to other islands in Caribbean to finish my diving certification and as it was quite difficilt to do it in Puerto Rico - epsecially because of organizational level and many other things,I have decided for British Virgen Islands.

And now how I came to these questions. I am making my divemaster with a school named BVI Blue Water Divers. There you can find very laid back atmosphere and the people are from all around the world,with high consciousness and awareness of the nature.

Yesterday when I came for my diving - I am helping as well in the shop to get some dives extra with my course,we got a group of tourists who were from Libanon living in Canada. There were 3 people and especially one lady from teh group looked very concenrned - it somehow dropped from her that she is not a good swimmer. So we tried to calm her down that it shouldn't be any problem though.
When we got to the diving spot on Norman Island - they were going first time to the water - so they needed to learn at least some basic skills.Before taking them to the shallow water the lady wanted to go to the water, so we gave her something to float on, she was scared to death,then it came out to the surface that she can't actually swim at all and that she has panick fear of the water.
In that moment you ask yourself - why do you buy a lesson of diving when you have deadly panick of water?
Nevermind. We got to the shallow water and the istructor Nicol - local belonger from BVI,with origins from Italy took them to very shallow water where they could stand up and try everything slowly and nicely.
The lady was catching panick every in a while. Being scared that if she drinks a bit of water from a sea that it would make her sick,being scared of having salty hair,being scared of every fish,absolute panick state,getting panicked for any kind of reason. It took Nicole in about one hour - till she learned to breathe trough regulator, till she was capable of getting down to sit on the bottom in the sand and breathe. She tried to teach her some more skills like cleaning the mask underwater,but the panicked lady wasn't able to do it after all.

When we got to other site,to the coral reef to perform the real dive,the lady felt much more confortable,more stable than when entering the boat. She actually felt very happy to manage what she managed on the first lesson - getting from dept 0 to 5 meters,without getting to the surface as she was a rocket.
This dive should be about 17 meters. So said - not that deep :)
I went down to hook up the boat to the base of the buoy and came up. We got J - the first of the to the bottom. Husband of the lady and I had to wait with him there,what I was doing,then came down Ahmed and then Nicole managed to get slowly the lady down. In some points all the dive looked like a theatre,where people were running here,others taking pictures,getting scared of fish,reef,crabs etc. Lady got panicked in about every 2 minutes of the dive,making huge eyes and that she would ascend to the surface. So we decided to calm her down and Nicole took her under the arm and we made small round around the reef.
Amazingly,she calmed down completely and we started to enjoy the dive. When we finished - everybody of them was so happy and the lady stayed floating hanging the rope with the biggest smile on the face from all of them. She managed. She managed to dive without even knowing how to swim :)
And she made a promise to herslef that she will come down to the beautiful underworld again.

Now,why I am actually writing this story, it's because I think you can do whatever you desire to do,even though that you are handicaped or not knowing the basics of what should be the prerequisits of something.
Today I bumpted to one amazing video,which made me write this down - about the lady who is diving on her wheelchair :) And that's as well the answer on another question in the caption of this article!


So,don't feet too fat,too slow, too unknowing, too skilless,too scared and panicked! Everything is just a question of will,patience, good guidance, creativity and understeanding.


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