– So Puck, tell us what brought you to Zanzibar?

I was traveling in South Africa before I came to Zanzibar. I came to Zanzibar for the great weather, the clear sea and the relaxed environment and mentality. But most of all I came here to dive. Zanzibar seemed like a good place to do this, and it is not that far away from South Africa.

– How did you come to decide to do your openwater course?

I always wanted to do a diving course, because my parents have got their certificate too and it always looks amazing! I wanted to explore the underwater world myself, so I decided to do the open water course. I really love being in the water and seeing things that you normally would never be able to see. 

Getting that gear ready!

– Did you do e-learning in advance or when you got here? 

I did the e-learning when I arrived in Zanzibar. The day I got there I had to start reading the chapters and watching the videos. 

– How did you find the academic side of the diving? Easily accessible/easy to understand?

I think the academic side of the diving was easily accessible. You have to wait for a while till it has all downloaded on your phone (or tablet), but after that you can look at it anywhere you want. I did not have any trouble understanding what was written in the chapters. I read it all once thoroughly and watch the videos, after doing this I passed the exams without any trouble. The academic side of the diving does take some time, I underestimated that a little bit. 

– So let’s talk about diving! What was you favorite part of the course?

My favourite part of the course was getting to the practical parts. The moment when you put on your scuba gear for the first time, with the tank on your back. It is something special. Once I had all of my gear on I got into the pool, where I had to carry out the theory that I learned. For me this was the best part, because it is the start of really learning how to dive. 

– How did you feel when you first went under!

The first time I got out into the sea was amazing! It was early in the morning and we all got ready to go. We went on the boat and we drove to a good diving spot. On the way we spotted some dolphins, this was a great start! We stopped the boat and got ready. I had to put on all of my scuba gear; BCD, mask, fins, snorkel, regulator and weights. The way to enter the sea was a back-roll from the boat, while holding your mask and regulator. The moment you roll back over and take the first breath under water is amazing. Once everybody was together we started do descend, slowly. It was exhilarating to get down to the bottom of the sea while being able to breathe. After a few minutes I did not even realise anymore that I was more than 10 meters deep, until I looked up and saw the surface above me. It is an indescribable feeling. 

We often see octopus inside the reef in Paje

– Talk us though what you saw and how it felt?

Once I got to the bottom of the ocean I saw the corals and a lot(!) of colourful tropical fish. I also spotted an octopus, a lion fish, a lobster and more! It was really crazy to see these animals in real life instead of seeing them on a picture. Because of the great visibility and the clear sea I could see everything very good. There was so much to see, everywhere I looked I saw something new. I felt so good! 

– Who was your instructor and what was he like?

My instructor was Didi. He is a really great guy, always making jokes, having a smile on his face and making the diving fun. However when it’s time to get serious, like during a pool session or diving in open water, he is focused. He had a lot of patience. For example with me, I could not equalise my ears properly so it took some time to get down to the bottom. This was no problem at all. I really enjoyed him being my instructor, always had a good time and a smile on my face. 

– How do you rate your experience and has it made you want to do more?

I would rate my experience a 10/10, I could not say anything that I did not like or think of something that went wrong. The people who work at buccaneer diving made me feel so comfortable and I was always looking forward to seeing them again. They became my friends. I have a really good experience with diving now and I would absolutely like to do more later on in my life!

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