Scuba Diving. My First Try.
Egypt offers plenty of attractions for tourists. The most popular among them are tours to the Pyramids of Giza & the Sphinx, Luxor and cruises along the Nile. But there are certain things you just can't miss. And diving is one of them. As the majority of divers have long known, it's off-the-chart diving--one of the planet's richest marine ecosystems in the sea that's surrounded by deserts on every side. As one of my acquaintances said, “If you've been to Egypt but never went diving – consider that you've never been to Egypt”. For those who are planning a trip to this country or just thinking of trying some new and exciting kinds of sports, I have to tell you that you should definitely have a go at diving. I promise you won't regret it. And my podcast will hopefully help you to find out more about this free time activity.
It's worth mentioning that there are various options to go diving in Egypt. The most commonly known is a daily diving (the one that will take only a day of your holiday time). It is perfect for those tourists who want to combine a beach holiday with some water adventures. I booked a diving trip with my hotel tour operator in advance. The bus arrived at the hotel at a set time and then it started gathering tourists from other hotels on its way to the sea. Finally a group of 9-10 people was formed and we were ready to board the ship. Well, I would rather call it a boat, a diving boat to be precise. It was a two-deck boat with a dive deck at the stern, a saloon with dining tables and an upper sun deck.
At first we filled in some documents and signed them. Only after that a briefing began. That's a compulsive procedure when the instructor goes over a few major points of diving and explains the performance of some basic skills that you will need later on (for example: ascending and descending, breathing and moving calmly under the water). It's very important to be attentive and remember everything that your instructor tells you. One thing in particular that you need to memorise is the range of underwater signs. They can be very helpful in case of emergency or problems that the diver may experience under the water; for instance, if you are lacking in oxygen or getting cold.
Having tried on some wet suits, fins and masks with snorkels (you can rent any of these items or you can take your own equipment with you), we were divided into small groups and pairs and were appointed a diving instructor for every group. I was last in the group. I spent some time watching the previous group have their first dives and their reaction to this new experience. Some were very excited while the others were not. When finally it was my turn to dive, I was already quite nervous and impatient at the same time. I was surprised to find that the BCD with the air tank and the weight belt was so heavy and I was wondering how I would get into the water with such a load. I had to jump right from the deck but I was afraid to do it, so I used a small staircase. Once on the surface with the instructor (the Egyptian guy who didn't speak English) he had commanded me to put my face into the water, there came a moment that I would never ever forget in my entire life. I saw the most amazing beauty in the world - the marine life with all its colours and variety of fish. I was astonished. Fish of various sizes and forms were everywhere and the corals were also stunning and breathtaking. The thing that surprised me the most was a transparency of the water. The visibility was phenomenal. I could see the bottom easily. No words can describe that. I relaxed immediately and I had no problems with descending.
I think I should tell you about health safety and breathing under the water. It was absolutely fine except that the Red Sea water is extremely salty. If it gets into your mouth or eyes, it might be a bit inconvenient for some time, but then you'll get used to it. The oxygen in the air tank is dry, so after breathing for 15-20 minutes you need to swallow to make yourself feel more comfortable. Diving is a relatively safe activity for healthy people. Divers should not have cardiovascular or pulmonary disorders and should have an above-average aerobic capacity. I had 2 dives that day; the first took me to as deep as 8 metres, the second 12 metres. I spend around 20-25 minutes under the water during each dive. The instructor was by my side the whole time and he was very helpful.
At the end of this eventful day I was full of positive emotions and excitement, and couldn't stop telling my travel partner about my first diving experience. So it was not surprising at all that when I saw the ad for diving courses in my city I didn't hesitate for a second.
- the Pyramids of Giza – a group of pyramids in the Giza Necropolis which is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
- Sphinx – a monumental statue with the head of a human and a lion's body
- Luxor – is a city in Southern Egypt
- сruise – a luxury journey on a ship
- off-the-chart – fantastic; классный
- to have a go at – to make an attempt
- water adventures – exciting experiences connected with the water
- in advance – beforehand
- to regret – to feel sorry about or to feel disappointed
- to find out – to discover a fact or piece of information
- free time activity – activities that you do in your free time
- daily diving – a diving trip for a day
- beach holiday – a type of holiday that you spend at the hotel or by the seaside, relaxing or sunbathing
- at a set time – at time appointed beforehand
- to board a ship – to enter or to go aboard
- diving boat – a small boat for diving
- dive deck – the outside top part of a ship that you can walk on for diving
- stern – the back of a ship
- saloon – a large public room on a passenger ship
- sun deck – a deck area exposed to the sun
- descending – moving down
- ascending – moving up
- underwater signs – indications used under the water
- lack (in) – be without or deficient in
- wet suits – a close-fitting rubber suit used in water sports
- fins – shoes for swimming
- snorkel – a piece of equipment with a tube that fits in your mouth so that you can breathe while swimming under water
- swimsuit – a suit worn while swimming
- to turn out – to be found to be
- BCD – buoyancy control device, a piece of diving equipment containing a bladder which is worn by divers to establish neutral buoyancy underwater and a positive buoyancy on the surface, when needed
- air tank – a cylinder that contains oxygen that is used by scuba divers
- weight belt – a belt with weights made of lead
- marine life – sea fauna or flora
- visibility – a situation in which someone or something can clearly be seen or noticed
- to swallow – to make a movement in your throat as if you are moving food or drink from your mouth to your stomach
- cardiovascular – of, relating to, the heart and the blood vessels
- pulmonary – relating to your lungs
- capacity – the ability to do something
- to hesitate – to pause before doing something, or to do something very slowly