Step 1: Explanation
We made an appointment at AB-Dive at 8.30 in the morning. It looks colorful there and it is packed with dive tanks. We were immediately welcomed here and our diving adventure could begin. In the dive shop we met Andy, our dive instructor for the day. We were anxious but exited and the tension faded as Andy explained everything in a calm and persuasive way. In the instruction video already saw a bit of what to expect from such a first dive and we made a mini exam with a number of multiple choice questions based on the first explanation.
Step 2: Get things together
The second step was to collect the diving equipment. You will see that there is quite a lot involved. Luckily we only had to try on the wetsuits and diving booties and Andy took care of the rest. When all things were in the car, we could leave for the first destination: Chachacha Beach.
Step 3: On our way to Chachacha Beach
We started at Chachacha Beach, a place where you can walk into the water from the beach and where there are virtually no currents and waves. In other words, a "swimming pool environment" and an ideal place to get used to breathing underwater and to do some exercises. For example, we were able to practice equalizing right away, so that your ears do not bother you, but we also had to fill our diving goggles with water on purpose and then solve this underwater again. Andy took all the time for us and practiced this until we felt 100% comfortable going to the actual dive site.
Step 4: Next destination, Pink Beach
We did the actual dive at Pink Beach. Here too we could just walk into the sea from the beach and from there we dived towards the beautiful coral reef. Andy kept a close eye on us and all we had to worry about was equalizing our ears and above all: enjoying the oh-so-beautiful underwater world of Bonaire!
What a special sight that coral reef and all those fish, you are really in a different world! We dived about 12 meters deep, the deepest that is allowed during a Discover Scuba Dive (DSD), and saw many different fish and sponges. This was already a very nice experience, but at the end of the dive we were also surprised with a special "bait ball" with thousands of fish that came swimming around us. During a first DSD you are not allowed to film or photograph for security reasons. Unfortunately we could not film the many fish around us, but they were so close to the shore that we were able to capture them after the dive!
Step 5: Certificate
Once back at AB-Dive, we discussed the dive with all of us enthusiastically and we received our certificate as proof of our first dive! This is not an official diving license, but with this you can do a so-called Repeat DSD and it is a nice keepsake for the future!
We can in any case conclude that we have become real diving fans and Bonaire is an ideal destination for a first diving experience! Next step: get our PADI ... If we do this on Bonaire, we will definitely come back to AB-Dive!