A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Undersea*

Have you done something new for the first time lately? I had mine and it was my first open water dive experience last Saturday and it was AWESOME!  Armed with nothing but courage and a little craziness that I carry all the time, I joined high school friend Mong to take the big dive into the bluewaters of Davao Gulf.

We went to two dive sites – Coral Garden and Angel’s Cove in the Island Garden of Samal (IGACOS).  Both sites were incredibly beautiful although Balicasag in Panglao Island, Bohol remains my favorite (even if I was there only for a little snorkeling).

Here are some thoughts that ran through my mind during and after I took that first dive.  I hope these words can entice you to take the leap of faith.

  1. Take a plunge.  I gave my full trust to my diving master and the crew.  When they said that I had to take the big leap forward, I held on to my respirator on one hand and on my mask on the other.  I moved my left foot forward and moments later, I found myself submerged in the open sea.
  2. It is beautiful inside.  Nothing can compare with the landscape of the ocean floor.  Life under the sea is abundant and extraordinarily different from that of terrestrial animals like us.  Looking at them makes you appreciate the greatness of this Earth and the miracle of life on this planet.
  3. Man conquers all.  Going under makes me feel like leaving the Earth for the outer space.  I imagined myself as an astronaut, an alien in a different dimension breathing compressed air through my mouth, masked and clothed with a wet suit.  Suddenly my body grew itself a pair of fins and I can’t find a use for my nose.  I didn’t have full control of my body, I felt weightlessness despite the air tank strapped on my back.  It was simply exhilarating.   Diving makes one marvel at the ingenuity of man.  We have conquered the space above us and under us.  We have invented ways to survive the conditions of an otherwise merciless ocean.  Man is a genius.
  4. Go further.  What’s next after surviving one’s first dive?  I guess there is nowhere else to go but deeper and deeper.  There is so much out there that I need to see.  As I fell asleep the night after diving, I thought of the glittering seawater above me.  The rays of the sun shines like a silver ceiling- moving gently as it tries to reach the depths of the sea.   I thought of the creatures that I’ve never seen before.  I thought of the dark blue sea beyond me.  Everything feels like magic.  It was Narnia meets Harry Potter with Nemo and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  5. Be responsible.  Diving is considered both a sports and a recreation.  It requires physical and mental exertions.  It subjects the human body to unnatural stress as the body goes further away from its natural environment.  Therefore, a good diver must take good care of his physical health.  Most importantly, we should take care of our oceans and seas.  It would not be the same enchanting experience diving under a murky and dirty dead sea.    


For diving inquiries in Davao City, contact the Carabao Dive Center at (082) 300 1092/ (0928) 514 7642 or visit them at the dive shop in Sta. Ana wharf.  they offer Open Water Dive (Intro Package) for only P850++.  Meals are not included so you better bring your own or you can buy lunch at the pit stop at Babu Santa Beach. Underwater photos are free!

*Apologies to Douglas Adams


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