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First Mate Jill just did her first dive of 2021 in Key Largo… and it wasn’t perfect.

May 12, 2021

There can be 100 reasons why we don’t do something we love as often as we want. Like scuba diving, especially in a year like the past one.

Maybe it’s too far to get to the water. Maybe you didn’t get the time off work or school to go closer to the water. Or you went somewhere that diving was possible but didn’t pack your gear. Or had all that but the weather wasn’t right: too wavy, too cold. Maybe your partner/kid/friend didn’t want to go with you.

We get it. All valid and very legitimate reasons why you might not have gone diving (or snorkeling) in a good long while.

And I’m sure you will agree that none of these would be valid or legitimate reasons why First Mate Jill… resident of Key Largo Florida… PADI divemaster…. co-owner of a private scuba charter boat berthed in the water 2 blocks from her house had not been diving in 2021 until last Thursday!

What happened on Thursday was a charter customer postponed on a day that looked terrific for diving. So instead of trying to book another guest we took our awesome divemasters Stephanie and Megan, Megan’s friend Chelle, and our marina BFF Capt Spurgeon (who’s been superbusy running his own amazing charter Nautical Quest Adventures) out for a fun dive.

Finally my chance! Visions of a magical zen dive danced before my eyes…. Onto the boat went my trusty BCD and dive computer, along with a wetsuit I bought in December but haven’t dived in.

Diver sideways
Jill had a 10lb tilt to the left for the first dive!

In reality it was a typical check dive: I got reacquainted with all my gear and found a few things to adjust before doing anything more challenging. Like my mask didn’t make it on the boat so I had to grab a spare which was a little pinchy. And as soon as I got under water, I realized that all the weights were bunched to one side of my old school weight belt. Let’s just say that compromised my bouyancy.

So that first dive was good but not awesome. Not zen. And not magical, except for the last 5 minutes when a squad of 15 spotted eagle rays circled us few times.

Spotted eagle rays under water
A squadron of spotted eagle rays

The reality is that lots of us go through this when we go diving again after a break. A little bit of anxiety, maybe a touch of frustration. It’s supposed to be more fun than this!

And it is. Just 2 days later, we snuck back out for another fun dive and everything was perfect. Got the weight sorted out, remembered my good mask and ditched the wetsuit for a thermal top over my comfy leggings.

Better bouyancy now!

We dropped in off the #4 ball at the Elbow Reef to perfect zen. A truly relaxing fun dive with every fin kick elegantly propelling my perfectly balanced body forward to more fish, more coral and sponges. The spotted eagle rays even came back!

Wish we could have skipped the first dive and gone straight to the second but it doesn’t often work that way. And that’s why we’re here with all the time in the world when you’re ready get back underwater!

We’re ready when you are!

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