At a Glance
As 2010 came to an end, I chose to be a certified Open Water scuba diver in the waters off east Sabah. And on the first day of the new year, I dived at Sipadan, frequently rated by dive journals as one of the best dive sites in the world.
It was one of the most radically new experiences I’ve ever had.
At first it feels weird. Every time my head went under the surface, my instincts kicked in. After decades of accepting that breathing underwear is a no-no, your brain is being taught that it’s perfectly safe. I had some difficulties breathing through my mouth instead of my nose. In my first few dives, I spent most of time focusing my breathing, worrying about my regulator and checking for water leaks in the googles. It doesn’t help that many dive centres have damaged equipment and as a newbie you can’t tell. For most people, it does take a day or two to get used to.
In the good chance that you’ll fall in love with diving, it’s going to be an hobby that will cost you heavily for the rest of your life.
The Bottom Line
It’s a completely out-of-this-world feeling, as though you’re in a marine fantasy world as a different organism. I swam with colourful fishes, giant turtles, and even sharks. It was marvelous. If you’ve never dived before, get to doing it. You’ll be glad that you did.