Since the idea of lying on the beach for 6 days sounded like complete torture to Kent, we decided to spend our time scuba diving. Kent and I met in Bocas del Toro,Panama, when he was getting his PADI certification and I was getting a tan. So since it was my first time scuba diving, I had to spend hours studying via an online course before we arrived in Zanzibar. But that meant that as soon as the taxi dropped us off at the hotel, I was ready to start my practice dives. There were several dive shops to choose from in Nungwi and we decided to go with Diving Poseidon, a dive shop run by an Austrian couple, Bernhard and Isle, and located about 200 steps from our hotel. Since Austrians were in charge, we knew it would be an efficient, by-the-book operation.
Learning to scuba dive was a little overwhelming at first. On my first practice dive, in only about 10 feet deep water, no one told me that I needed to equalize my ears (by plugging my nose and blowing out) so I spent the rest of the day feeling as if I were still underwater. Luckily that cleared up and by the second day I was ready for the open water. Unfortunately it was raining so in addition to the sea being very choppy and cold, the underwater visibility was poor. Not that I was really focusing on what I could see- I was too preoccupied with trying not to crash into coral or the sea floor as I struggled to learn how to inflate and deflate my oxygen vest, which controls buoyancy.
I’m not gonna lie, after the first dive I wasn’t sure I was digging this new hobby. But by the second dive of the day, I got slightly better at balancing myself and was able to enjoy more of my aquatic surroundings.
We even saw a tiny little seahorse that was getting dragged back and forth along the ocean floor, just like me. Over the next few days we saw amazing underwater creations: highlights included neon colored fish of every shape and size, iridescent blue parrot fish, spotted sting rays, lurking eels with beady eyes, a giant stripped devil fish, coral reefs of bright lime green, red and pink, and giant lipped grouper.