“You look very comfortable in water”, said my dive master as we surfaced from the first scuba diving practice. The waves were rough that day and I was constantly swept away by them as we practiced breathing using the equipment. Like a small dingy on the ocean, I was being slowly washed back again to the shores.
I suppose he was right, I am comfortable in water, perhaps because I had learned swimming when I was smaller. Later, I was chosen as the 12 people who get to dive off a small island near Tioman. The view underwater was nothing like the earlier dive, numerous fishes dotted the corals, two turtles were spotted during the entire time we were diving and a castle of corals everywhere. Forget snorkeling, diving is clearly a superior experience.
When first diving underwater, 7m below sea level, you have to remember to breathe. Clearly, you would die if you forgot. Breathing is different when you have to only do it through a mouthpiece wired to oxygen. The cold oxygen dried my throat, made me feel a little anxious about remembering to breathe but soon after I was breathing without consciously reminding myself to as the marine life caught my attention.
Although I couldn’t replicate the diving experience back in my apartment swimming pool, I definitely skimmed the floor of the pool when no one else was around, taking a deep breath before surfacing. I did some laps, practiced my freestyle and most importantly, I never forgot to breathe.