Deep sea diving is a sport that frightens a lot of people, and that’s perfectly understandable; after all, you’re in a strange environment deep underwater where your only source of oxygen is strapped to your back, and suddenly you feel very vulnerable. My hubby started diving a few years ago. Since then, he’s been urging me to taking classes so that we can start diving together. I would never have fully grasped how magical the underwater world is, had I not seen with my own two eyes.
My first dive was in Tahiti (you can read about it HERE). I fell in love with the sport the moment my feet touched the bottom of the water: I felt like I belonged. Having grown up swimming, it seemed only natural that my love for the water would one day bring me to explore the ocean, its flora and its inhabitants. Thus, I eagerly looked forward to obtaining my PADI certification. I went to Hawaii the following month with two friends. We took the theoretical courses online prior to our departure. We would obtain our certification once we’d taken the in-pool classes and the ocean water classes (you can read about it HERE).
Even as I made my way back home to Québec, I was already looking forward to my next underwater adventure. I was beyond excited when I received an invitation to the first ever Barbados Diving Festival: I would soon be returning to the ocean’s floor! And I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
The waters of Barbados stay between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius; making them ideal for year-round deep sea diving. You’re probably wondering why I’m wearing a full body suit… well, I get cold very easily and it’s a lot colder at the bottom of the ocean than it is on the surface. The island has sites that are suitable for every diver — from beginner to advanced, and each one is populated by a myriad of fish, sharks, turtles, wrecks, and so on. I got to do 5 dives in three days!
My first night-time dive:
I had barely set foot in Barbados when I was whisked away to the Barbados Scuba Divers Centre. There wasn’t a minute to lose: we needed to get to our dive site before the sun finished setting in order to get our bearings before venturing into the pitch black water of the ocean. This would be my first night-time dive and I had no idea what to expect. I admit I was a little scared. Our destination was an ancient cemetery. We saw fish that normally were not visible in daylight as we swam between the tombstones. You can’t help feeling awestruck knowing that a flashlight is the only thing standing between you and utter darkness. It’s only in the complete darkness that we can the silvery light created by the scales of certain fishes.
Diving among sea turtles:
While in Hawaii, we were afforded the opportunity of diving with folks from the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. The goal of the project is to increase the sea turtle population. Employees catch young turtles (often aged 20 years or less), note their measurements, mark them, and then return them to the exact location where they had been found. What an incredible experience! Those of you who watched the movie Planet Earth 2 might be interested to know that the segment about turtles was filmed in the location I visited. I remember how heartbreaking that segment was. I was overjoyed to learn that the Project Team saved the turtles that otherwise were doomed to die in the streets!
Diving among shipwrecks:
Another dive that moved me deeply was the one where we swam among shipwrecked naval crafts. We explored five sites during that dive. One of the shipwrecks was from the First World War; another occurred less than five years ago. Thanks to our guides, we were able to swim in and among the ships.
Other important information about Barbados:
- It’s a popular destination for a beach vacation so it’s hardly surprising that I recommend enjoying the sunny beaches of the Caribbean. The beaches of Barbados are magnificent! I jogged there every evening at sunset!2. The nightlife in Barbados is terrific, whether you just want to go out for drinks, or an evening of dancing!
3. One of the oldest synagogues in North America is in Barbados. I recommend visiting it to better understand the country’s history!
4. I take every opportunity I get to do some paddleboarding! It’s hardly surprising then that I rented a paddleboard to indulge in some fun in the surf!
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