Aurora W.

As husband and wife of almost 20 years, we have found that where one of us is weak, the other is strong. Our fears and perceived inability to do things have created limits on many possible intriguing events. My fears have held back what my husband has wanted to do for some time- scuba dive. Boats and open water, though I loved to look at them, are something I have never wanted to be a part of. Oddly enough, I love ocean life; sharks being one of my favorite creatures since childhood. My kids grown, husband and I have decided it was time to open some doors and experience the water life!

He did all the research and made calls/emails to various people and found Task Force Poseidon. The Director, Mr. Rick Hayes, was so helpful with all the questions and was awesome at getting things started. Next thing we know, it’s time to go!

We met with the team (and eventually, a family!) at Emerald Coast Scuba in Destin and were instantly comfortable. That was strange enough considering we had a large group and we aren’t much into being in “crowds”. Anxiety about the tasks to come would be my only issues. The first day I was upset and frustrated, even though they took me aside to help me while the rest finished their tasks as they needed. I was letting my fear of water get to me and couldn’t get out of my own head no matter how patient the divemaster was with me. The next day I resigned myself to just deal with my fears one at a time. Call it out, address the reasons, and try to finally take the next step past it. The Divemaster, Anna, was brilliant and patient, and by the end of the day, I was excited to do more!

The first time on a boat in a long time, for me, was one of my other issues. Walking toward it, I reminded myself how I managed the pool tasks. I certainly didn’t think I had it in me to drop off the side of it, willingly, until Anna asked. Some experiences just have to be had first-hand. The funniest part, I believe, is that I think I prefer to drop off the side than the big step off the back. Take THAT, silly fear! Fear couldn’t stop me from getting on the boat and couldn’t stop me from being in the water. I had even more fun once I got to play with the fish. All the pictures and videos I used to love so much about ocean life just didn’t compare to this.

I’m not going to say it was the smoothest, easiest thing I have ever done in my life, but I’m so extremely happy I had the chance to do it. Thanks to Task Force Poseidon and Emerald Coast Scuba. Now I want to go out and see more, take pictures, and do cleanups once I have learned all I need, and I can’t wait to start!