Who would’ve thought that when I did my discover scuba dive myself, about 10 years later I would be throwing my life around to try and make it my full-time profession?! It truly was a dive into the unknown!
It all started out quite ‘innocent’ – Why wouldn’t I try diving during the introduction period at the University of Twente? Of course, that was awesome. Even just in the swimming pool. Experiencing the weightlessness and ability to breathe underwater – wow! A whole new world opened to me – literally. I immediately registered for the first open water course that was on the list, fortunately the first one was starting in just a couple of weeks. I really never was very fond of swimming, but this experience of being underwater, moving in 3D was something else.
My open water course started September 2007 with Xavier as instructor and Tobias, Jenny and Saskia as my fellow divers-to-be. Xavier thought he was quite lucky, getting 3 girls and one guy – though you should’ve seen the disappointment on his face when I walked in and he discovered Kim could also be a man! After five sessions of theory and pool training, we finally went into the lakes around Enschede. It was awesome! Even though I didn’t see more life than a couple of crayfish and some small fish. Besides myself, Saskia was also caught on the diving virus and we decided we’d go along with the club’s trip to Zeeland, 4 days after getting certified. Just having seven dives under our belts, we were totally hooked.
I still remember my first dive in Zeeland – I was mesmerised by the beauty of the underwater world here. Thrilled when I saw my first big lobster, and second, and the third… Oh there are so many of them, and they were BIG! Lobsters, crabs, fish, mussels and more. Unfortunately I don’t have any UW photos from that time, but I’ve got some more recent ones.
As you can see – it’s beautiful. And addictive. In my first year as a diver I did 100 dives. Most of them in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. My first blue water diving experience was in Gozo, Malta, after being diving for just over half a year. The experience of putting my head in clear water with visibilities over 30 meters was incredible. But in a way this also lacks some ‘adventurous’ atmosphere that you get of diving in less visibilities and in more difficult conditions. For everyone who has only been diving in crystal clear blue warm water, consider diving in The Netherlands – you won’t be disappointed!
At the end of 2008 I got to go on a liveaboard to Egypt. We were with a huge group of 35 people from Piranha and had two full boats for ourselves. I must say, this was the most successful diving year of the club! And this holiday was truly awesome. We took the South & St. John’s route. The corals, the abundance of fish and even snorkelling with wild dolphins for hours. Just amazing. You might’ve seen my post on diving in Egypt in 2015 and how fantastic that was. Well, Egypt has kept its promise of being one of the most beautiful destinations for being in the underwater world.
When did I think of becoming an instructor myself? That was really fast. Seeing Xavier being the instructor as a side-job next to his studies, I thought ‘That’s the best side-job ever – I got to get that!’. And I did. Less than a year after getting my OW I got my Divemaster certification and just over 1,5 years and 120 dives after getting my OW I was certified as Open Water instructor for SSI. ‘Dive now, study later’ as the club slogan said… There sure was some truth in that for me.
Diving has opened doors to me that I was unaware of until quite recently. Now I will really get to dive into the unknown adventure of quitting the job and going for my dream, thanks to this simple discover scuba dive in September 2007 and the enthusiasm of the people around me when I started! Diving into the unknown… Who knows what it will bring me?