This post is also available in: Dutch.
In March 2009, more than five years ago, I was introduced to scuba diving on the island of Bali, Indonesia. On a spot called ‘Tulamben’, I went on a shipwreck dive with a local dive school. Being eighteen and saving up for further travels, I didn’t have the money for a complete diving course to earn a certificate, so I stuck to a single introductory dive. Although I only stayed under for fifty minutes, on a reef which, (as I now know) was fairly deteriorated, looking at a shipwreck which, in hindsight, wasn’t all that exciting, I was hooked. I immediately knew that this was something I loved, and that this was something I would have to do again.
It took me way longer than I had hoped to return under the ocean’s surface. My home country, the Netherlands, doesn’t offer too much spectacular diving and my travels in between didn’t lead me to any suitable locations where I could fulfill my wish to dive again. But five years later I was, hallelujah, hired as an intern on Curaçao, and I knew that this was my chance.
A whole new world
The thing that I love about diving is the serenity of it. Serenity can be found in more than one place here on Curaçao, because the wonderful views at the top of the Christoffel Mountain or the little beaches with the sounds of crashing waves can calm me down perfectly. But diving is different, in a sort of inexplicable kind of way. Once you deflate that vest and you sink below the surface, it’s a whole new world. A wonderful world. An immense variety of life, all around you, packed together in a silent experience.
Within a month of my arrival on Curaçao I completed my Open Water diving course. The diving course itself was plenty of fun already, with dives at Caracas Bay and the Tug Boat. But after my course was completed, the real fun began.
I work, I dive, I marvel
As you might know, the Curaçao Footprint Foundation is working hard on the second part of Ecosplash, a nature documentary series about the unique nature of Curaçao and the Caribbean. Ecosplash II focuses on the underwater world. As an intern here, I am incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to help out with filming the series. And for that, we dive. Naturally, my internship doesn’t solely consist of diving (oh what a life that would be), I do plenty more. But every time I strap on my lead belt and prepare for an ‘Ecosplash dive’, I take a moment and realize I am working. Working! Working and diving, what a combination. I work and I dive and I marvel, at all there is to see.
During my five years in between my first dive and my second dive, I often thought back, about that first dive in 2009, on Bali. About how it got under my skin. About how I knew that I would have to dive again. And when I would. Five years later, I think back less and less, for Curaçao has given me new diving memories. New diving experiences. And new reason to pursue diving around the world.