Unforgettable: Teen takes first scuba plunge in Cozumel
The writer of this article from California Diver online magazine is Jack Chung, who is 13 years old and earning his scuba diving certification this summer.
Cozumel, Mexico one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Every morning you wake up to the breeze of the Gulf and the sight of white sand beaches that look like they might never end. I had lots of fun in Cozumel, trying new foods and walking around the town, but the very best part was my diving experience with a local Divemaster and guide, Jorge Rosado (a.k.a. “Diving with George“). My friend and NAUI Instructor Chris, who was also visiting Cozumel, asked me if I wanted to go on my first scuba dive with him. I was ecstatic and of course said yes. All we needed was the dive gear and some advice on where to safely dive.
George owns a small dive shop and activities center, located just a few blocks up from the ocean in San Miguel. He knows just about all of the dive sites on the island, and can also connect just about anyone up with any of the other outdoor activities offered on Cozumel. Fortunately for us, he also has rental gear available.
We tried on gear for the next day, then went back to our hotels where I eagerly waited for the next day to come. George had all the equipment ready for us the next morning and after meeting at his shop, we drove together to a nearby Tikila beach to begin our dive.
When the time came for my first dive, I was nervous but didn’t let it show. We got our gear and tanks on and started our quickstart diving lesson. We walked out into the water and learned skills on diving, such as clearing your mask, putting our fins on in the water, buoyancy control, simple underwater signals, and how to check our air. George was patient and made sure we understood how to use all of our equipment before we entered the water.
Finally, it was time to start our dive. We started walking out away from the dock until we had space to swim, then began our descent. When we got to about forty or so feet, we stopped and waited for George to find a seahorse, while we waited we messed around finding frisbees, golf balls, and spare regulator pieces. I checked my air noticing it was a little low, and I showed George. He showed us using signals that our dive had to be cut a little short because I was running low on air. We swam back to the shore, got out of the water and washed all our gear off.
Although our dive was cut short, it was a spectacular experience that I will never forget and it has encouraged me to pursue my diving certification this summer. Soon I will be able to make many more memories under the surface of the sea.