I don’t think I’m the only one that reads a lot about all the dive sites before I go on a dive holiday. I get a lot of expectations and it grows even bigger when I’m there and the dive guide tells me all about the nice things we might see. Lets face it, I’m there paying to get amazing dives. But at the same time it’s wild life in the ocean I’m about to experience. It’s not a zoo, I can’t expect to see all the sharks, turtles, rays or whatever they have on this dive site. I know that, but still get disappointed when I just see some fish and colorful corals.
But when I did my Dive Master course and also started to learn about all the marine life, I stopped being so focused before a dive of what I might see. I just jumped into the water and swam slowly and started to look at small things like Nudibranches and shells. I stopped and just watched fishes swimming and playing in the water. I started to see all the things that happens when I’m diving. If there really isn’t anything to see I just take the opportunity to get to know my camera a little better. Take lots and lots of photos on the same thing but with different settings so I can study afterward what makes the difference.
I was in Madagascar on a small island called Nosy Be. I went out on a dive with an instructor and 5 older men. The dive site called Manta Point, and that tells you that you might have a slight chance to see Mantas. I liked that the instructor told us before hand that the chance was slim and if we didn’t see one the dive site does not make it for very good dive. We were not lucky and we ended up having an hour dive in water with bad visibility and not much of corals nor fish. The instructor apologized afterwards on the boat and you can tell he felt bad about it. I smiled at him and the other guys and told him “how can I be disappointed when we swam with a marble ray for five minutes. It was very curious about us and swam right next to us. How can I be disappointed when we had a Remora with us for 30 minutes, taking a free ride in Pascals tank and then at the safety stop came up to me and tried to suck my legs. How can I be disappointed when I was diving with all of you, having so much fun in the water and even laughed a lot while diving and now I have new friends?”. Everyone nod and said “you’re right, it wasn’t the best dive we had but we had fun in the water and that’s the most important thing”. I showed them my photos I took when we turned a boring safety stop to a laughing moment in front of the camera.
So my advice is, stop thinking about all the things you didn’t see and think of all nice things you did see! And what can be more fun than to dive with others that have the same passion like you and making friends forever.
Story & Photography by Susanne Stigsson.