Diving the world

With exquisite coral reefs, underwater caves, wrecks, marine life, rays, shark encounters, turtles and a diverse array of colourful sea life, the ocean has a lot to offer.

And I’ve been all over the world, just to see what’s under its water. It’s another world under there, another atmosphere – God’s creation personified.

Paul Erskine divingSince getting qualified through PADI, I’ve been on dives in Thailand, the Philippines, the Maldives, Ireland, Sinai, Mozambique, Zanzibar, and all over South Africa.

And by the end of 2011, I’ll be able to tick Israel and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia off my Bucket List too.

It became an addiction

You might ask – what is the allure of these places?

It just seemed like every DIVE magazine had better diving spots than the previous issue – it became an addiction.

I was particularly awed by the beauty of the Maldives and Zanzibar. The uniqueness of this underwater terrain and the vastness of this whole other hemisphere is mind-blowing.

I rely on travel agents and Dive Centres to get me to far-flung places, and think of my dives as holidays, compared to some of my more extreme adventures.

Diving, although not physically taxing on the body, is huge on the soul, and a great stress releaser.

My most memorable moment was being on a beach in a nature sanctuary at 5am, and watching the sun rise as I entered the water to swim with dolphins. It was certainly a lot more stress-releasing than being presented with the challenge of trying to stay calm with sharks swimming around me mere meters away!

Go with the flow

Paul Erskine diving and coral reefsOn each trip, I’ll usually do three dives a day at different sites, followed by evenings of seafood dinners and social drinking with residents, locals, and visiting tourists. I visit the local historic sides of the towns and old cities that I’m in, and all the usual tourist attractions.

I get a kick out of knowing that I’ve dived in some of the world’s top diving spots, and had the opportunity to embrace different countries, cultures, and cuisines.

So what goes through my mind when I’m underwater? I just get into ‘the zone’, go with the flow, and just soak up the beautiful, unique coral life.

My advice on diving

  1. Get a reliable set of goggles that won’t steam up
  2. Go with well-known instructors and guides
  3. Pick good visibility dive meccas
  4. And ensure you bond with your dive master.

Watch this space to read about my trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel, where I’ll be diving in Eilat!

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