Fall in love with Diving
I started diving and getting qualified in the UK when I was just 12 years old. Having always been fascinated with the underwater world and with David Attenborough and Jacque Cousteau as my idols - it was probably predestined.
Then, about 25 years ago I had a 'bad dive' which really shook me up. And all of a sudden, I was missing the group meetings and training sessions and sadly I found myself drifting away from the sport and my marine adventures.
That was until I met Christelle and Francois Besson from Diving World Mauritius. They visited our UK Office to tell us about their PADI dive centers at our Mauricia Beachcomber Resort & Spa, Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa and Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa and once again my interest was piqued. I explained my diving history to them both and admitted that I really missed it and even after over 40 visits to Mauritius I had never dived there. Francois response was "I guarantee Christelle will get you diving again and loving it."
This sounded like a challenge. So, the following June I had organised for my Fam Trip group to have a resort dive during our stay at Mauricia Beachcomber Resort & Spa. The day before, I met with Christelle and Francois for a refresher dive, to say things didn't go to plan was an understatement. I had a panic attack and ended up clinging to an unused outboard engine for about 25 minutes until we could be picked up by the boat!!
Not to be discouraged by my experience and my nerves I proceeded with the resort dive with the rest of the group the next day and Christelle promised to look after me. This lady has such a deep love and respect for the ocean and its inhabitants, it is hard not to be drawn under her spell and after 20 minutes in the pool getting familiar again with the equipment, I said I wanted to do the sea dive. It was so good. We had a lovely, calm dive and I was lucky enough to spot a variety of wonderful marine animals including a shoal of squid which looked so beautiful in the clear, tropical waters. And that was it - just like that, I was determined to take up the sport once again.
So, myself and a friend booked to stay at Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa for a week's holiday this year in April/May time. The weather was perfect and the sea temperature was ideal at a bath-like 29 degrees! Christelle had allocated a superb dive instructor by the name of Gideon to my friend and I to obtain our PADI Open Water Qualification. Gideon was so calm, empathetic and knowledgeable - we both felt that we were in very safe hands. We had already done the online exams, so it was all about completion of the required confined and open water dives to prove your ability with the equipment and situations that everyone comes across during a dive. Plus of course the emergency procedures, underwater navigation and communication skills.
I loved every minute! The pool sessions went well so we progressed onto the required sessions in the ocean. Removal and replacement of mask, jacket and weight belt; navigation, hand signals and trying to obtain the art of finding the perfect 'trim' or buoyancy.
Diving in Mauritius is stress free and varied. As the island is nearly entirely circled by protective reef it means that the amount of large aquatic animals (that may daunt some people) are limited - but sharks and larger fish can certainly be observed at certain dive sites. The beautiful reef with an enormous array of life was superb and the clarity of the water is assisted by very few rivers and waterways flowing to the ocean.
I cannot recommend the experience enough. All of the staff at Diving World Mauritius were supportive, professional and great company. During our visit we met a Swiss family who were also getting qualified with their children, they had stayed at Beachcomber Hotels previously and loved Victoria Beachcomber not only for the diving but for all the fantastic resort facilities, activities for the kids and the exquisite dining options - which are especially important as you get VERY hungry after diving!
I have returned to Mauritius more recently and had a few more dives. Observing turtles, dolphins, eels and sea snakes alongside an amazing array of all types of marine life. I am now a qualified PADI Open Water Diver and hopefully by the end of September I will be an Advanced Open Water Diver, as I really want to do deeper dives, wreck dives and progress to learning about underwater photography. I also hope to have many more great dive experiences in Mauritius as there is so much more to explore...
Are you feeling inspired by Sam's diving experiences in Mauritius? You too could fall in love with diving at the Diving World Mauritius PADI centres located at four of our Beachcomber hotels. Diving in Mauritius is incredible value, take a look at our diving guide and give our friendly reservation team a call to discuss your diving holiday.