Do you remember the first time you rode a “big kid ride” at a fair or an amusement park? And for some reason, after that the kiddie rides just weren’t enough for you? You now craved that extra thrill that had been unknowingly lacking. For me, my fluffies, that came when I snuba dived for the first time. While snorkeling will always be a big part of my life, having experienced snuba has electrified my desire to go deeper and seek more from the ocean.
For those of you who have not heard of snuba, it’s also called huka in some parts of the world. Basically, it’s a gateway drug to scuba diving. You don’t have to be a certified diver to do this activity and it’s a milder version as well. Instead of having a scuba tank attached to your back, your tank floats on the surface of the water. That means you cannot dive deeper than 20 feet, since your regulator tube has to connect to the surface. However, you are truly getting the sensations that scuba offers as well as learning scuba basics.
I tried this a couple of years ago as an excursion off of a Holland America cruise ship. Of course, it was something that I was shy to try at a size 26, but there wasn’t a weight limit on the excursion. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to try it. Obviously, even without a stated weight limit, there was always the chance that I would be too big for the gear or that the company who ran the excursion could refuse to let me go… but I threw caution to the wind and booked it!
We got picked up from the hotel and taken to one of the quietest and most picturesque beaches on Grand Turk. After a thorough safety briefing the scary part started… getting fitted for the weight belt. It actually turned out to be pretty easy and the guys that ran the excursion were super kind about getting it right.
A lot of snuba happens off of a boat, but we actually were able to walk right in to the ocean and followed our guides. It was super awkward putting on my fins with the weights on, but no one laughed. After we swam a little the weights took effect and we began to sink a bit, and as we exhaled we could control how deep in the water we went. Breathing with the regulator was extremely easy and as long as you cleared the pressure in your ears as you descended, it was incredibly easy. Being under the water, weightless and breathing is one of the most magical things I’ve ever felt! It’s as close as we non-astronauts can get to a space walk, I suppose.
As we swam along the bottom of the sea floor, we encountered a gorgeous variety of marine life and sadly some trash that we all helped pocket to throw out later. The guides regularly checked on us with the hand gestures we’d learned on the beach and I couldn’t have enjoyed the experience more!
I think if you’re thinking about graduating from snorkeling to scuba diving that snuba is the perfect way to see how you’d fare as a diver. Some people do not do well with a regulator for breathing, so before spending a ton of money learning the basics of scuba, you could try it out.
I’m posting this, not just as a guide for other fluffy folks, but as a reminder to myself that I did this a couple of years ago and it’s HIGH TIME I get scuba certified. This summer I bought the online course for learning the basics of diving from the PADI website and I’m stuck. I’m thinking about all of the things that could go wrong actually trying to scuba dive. Will I find equipment that fits? Will I be able to walk and maneuver will all of that gear on? Will the dive shops turn me away? After all I’ve done, I’m still always so very scared to try the next step.
I’ll keep the blog up to date with my scuba journey, but for Pete’s sake, hold me accountable!!
So, as I digress I’ll get back to YOU snuba diving. The PSG rating : solid 5.
I’ve seen this activity all over the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico. I’m sure it’s doable elsewhere too.