Under the sea

Sophomore gushes about her scuba diving adventure


Cheney diving in Cozumel

Story by Jillian Cheney, staff writer

Everyone dreams of living underwater among a plethora of colored fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks – well, maybe not the sharks – and that’s exactly the experience that scuba diving provides.

Actually, learning how to scuba dive on my vacation in Cozumel wasn’t something I decided on myself. My dad has been scuba diving for years, and he encouraged my brother and I to try it out. It required me to sit through hours of lectures about scuba even before I took the introductory class.

The class lasted three full days of my vacation, but it was well worth the effort and time. In fact, I can’t imagine having done anything else.

Being underwater is one of the most surreal and exhilarating feelings one can experience. What can be seen depends on the dive location, but everywhere we went was packed to the brim with every kind of sea life; the most amazing thing to me was that the animals underwater seemed to treat us like we actually belonged there.

The idea of being underwater with only a tank of air, mask, flippers, and a floatation device may seem frightening to some people, but scuba diving is surprisingly simple. There are a few techniques my instructors had me master before I was certified, but they don’t require any special talents. I and the others in my class had to learn how to breathe from a regulator (breathing device), clear our masks, remove our masks and put them back on underwater, control buoyancy, and find our regulators underwater in case they accidentally get kicked out.

Cheney receiving instructions in class before dive
Cheney receiving instructions in class before dive

Apart from that, I was taught to always breathe in order to avoid bubbles forming in my body, plan my dive so I can allow proper amounts of rest in between dives, and equalize the pressure in my inner ear.

Finally, scuba diving requires little to no physical activity, so if you aren’t in the best shape, no problem. Anyone can learn how to scuba dive, and everyone will enjoy it.

My experience diving in Cozumel was undoubtedly the best part of my vacation, and I’d eagerly recommend anyone at any age to try it out — you never know what you’ll see under the sea.