18 metros hacen que el día anterior duermas con el estómago revuelto. 18 metros significan muchas visitas al baño. 18 metros significan pensar que el chaleco no se hinchará lo suficientemente rápido como para mantenerte a flote. 18 metros significan pensar que un gran tiburón blanco lleva ya unos cuantos días esperando a que saltes del barco para devorarte al instante, a ti y solo a ti. 18 metros significan demasiada agua encima de ti.
Es una lástima que los miedos nos impidan olvidar las cosas buenas.
Olvidamos que 18 metros significan ver paisajes que no existen en tierra firme. Olvidamos que 18 metros significan sentirte como pez en el agua. Olvidamos que 18 metros significan encontrar a Nemo y nadar cerca de una tortuga. Olvidamos que 18 metros significan ver los rayos de sol en expansión. Olvidamos que 18 metros significan aprender un lenguaje nuevo en el que las palabras sobran.
Ella estaba sentada en el barco, encogida y con los ojos cerrados. En su cabeza, el tiburón blanco abría sus fauces, se despedía de las últimas bocanadas de aire y pensó que hubiera sido buena idea haber pasado por el baño una vez más. El que ya bucea sabe de sobra que el tiburón blanco se encuentra en otros mares; que habrá siempre alguien al lado tuyo mirándote a los ojos y ocupándose de que no te ocurra nada malo; que lo de ir al baño tiene una solución muy sencilla, simplemente hay que apuntar hacia arriba; y sabe de sobra que tus ojos se abrirán como platos cuando veas a Nemo y a esa tortuga. Solo necesitas que alguien te lo recuerde. -Disfrútalo- le dije antes de saltar. Esa noche, durante la cena, ella me dijo -ese "disfrútalo" lo cambió todo. Estoy deseando volver a bucear-.
The weekend had arrived and for the the dive shop in Tioman, this meant work. A group of rock climbers had arrived from Kuala Lumpur with the intention of getting their open water diver certification. These people were used to ascending high walls and climbing technical boulders, where a human error can mean a tragedy. So we can say they were used to risk. But going down bellow into the depths of the sea, is still a completely different concept.
The class started as usual, theory, videos, demonstrations and of course lots of laughs. It wasn't until the time when it was time to gear up, that you could tell that everyone was excited and a little bit nervous. Something normal if it's the first time you go scuba diving.
Everyone did their "buddy" check ensuring that their equipment was ok, before we proceeded to enter the water by foot. By the time we got our masks on and regulators in place, one person seemed to be a bit more nervous than the rest. After descending, It didn't take long until that person was back on the surface breathing for her life. She had definitely not enjoyed the first seconds of the experience.
"What is wrong?" Miguel asked.
"I can't breath well" she said.
"That's normal, sometimes it can be a bit strange at first, but you will get used to it very soon… just breath as much as you need and relax."
"It's just that I am a bit nervous… I had near drowning experience when I was little."
Miguel tried to reassure her that everything was going to be ok and that he would always be there to assist her if any problem arose. She nodded, put on her mask and regulator and proceeded to descended again.
When the mask clearing skills had to be done, (these are the skills that can show you how problematic a diver can be, due to the fact that these skills are the "scariest" and most uncomfortable for a novice diver) it took her a few attempts to get it done. But once finding out that it wasn't too bad, and that clearing her mask properly wasn't too much of a hassle, she seemed to feel more comfortable.
After the skills, it was time for a quick 10 minutes swim through the reef. Miguel and the student started swimming around the the coral and sand while looking for a few little critters. At one point, when it felt as if they where flying through the water, Miguel caught a smile. It looked like she was actually enjoying herself!
The next days, more serious diving and skills had to be done, but this time her and her group of friends where more resilient. They started to dive like fish underwater, taking group photos, videos, admiring the sea and its inhabitants.
We made it back to the dive shop in the afternoon. Everything was just perfect, good food, a good sunset and that feeling that you normally get after a good dive. Everyone was excited about what they had managed to do and what they had managed to see. After 4 days, they looked like real divers, and we all knew that this was only the beginning of a life changing experience.
When dinner time came, Miguel's diver came along with her boyfriend.
"¿Puedo hacerme una foto contigo?" (can I take a picture with you?, in spanish).
"¡Claro que si!" Miguel agreed.
She thanked Miguel in spanish, for helping her overcome her fears. Something that took her little effort to learn thanks to her spanish speaking boyfriend, but all in all, It was a shocking moment for Miguel. It was the fist time a client thanked him in that way. That day, Miguel had a feeling that he had done something right… He had finally become a dive master.
|Momento briefing - Briefing time|