Associate Editor Adrienne Egolf recently became an open-water diver. Here are her top four reasons why you should do the same. For even more notes from the underwater, read about her first dive off the island of Eleuthera and her latest trip to the British Virgin Islands, where she earned her Advanced Open Water Certification.
1. You don't need to be a Cousteau to dive right in.With the right training, scuba diving is a fun, safe way to explore the bottom-side of your favorite island. Whether you've been a landlubber for life or a long-time snorkeling enthusiast, you can learn the terminology, science and theory of diving in just a few short hours. Begin the pre-dive portion of your Open Water Diver course in a classroom at your local dive shop, or in front of your computer thanks to eLearning options from PADI. padi.com
2. You've been looking for another excuse to island hop.Once you've completed the paper-and-pencil portion of the course, there's no better place to complete your first open-water dive than an island. Whether your next trip is booked for the South Pacific or the Caribbean, chances are there's a dive site nearby. Arrange your first dive with an operator on the island, and in addition to all the great memories, you'll also go home with a license to dive.
3. Your favorite island has never looked so good. As soon as you jump from the lurching platform into the smooth, blue water, you'll feel the rise and fall of the waves slow to a gentle, lulling rhythm. And then, just as quickly as you sink below the surface, a new island noise surrounds. The shimmering shapes, only barely visible from the boat, begin to take shape. And the coral, which you may have seen gliding along the top of the water with a mask and snorkel, is now all around you. Schools of fish zip by in fluorescent blue, orange and red clouds, and myriad creatures scurry below on the ocean floor.
4. You can start right now. Go to beadiver.com to connect with a dive operator in your area and arrange your first open-water dive on an island.