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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 18
jenniee Offline OP
OP Offline
Hi, there!
I am going to be on Ambergris in Aug/Sept this year. My fiancee is insisting we take SCUBA lessons here in Austin before we come down so we can dive while we are there. I went to Honduras last year and snorkeled and was blown away! I loved the coral and the sea life. Amazing! However, I'm a little leary of SCUBA. You see, I'm EXTREMELY claustrophobic, and I'm afraid I'll freak out with all that equipment on my face and being down in the water. I'm more afraid of the consequences of the closed spaces (suffocation) than the closed space itself. I'm leaning towards just snorkeling again, and letting the hubby (getting married on AC) SCUBA.
A related question: there will be about 20 people total with us, and only about 5 SCUBA, the rest are snorkelers or beach-lay-arounders (mom won't do anything that requires her to get her hair wet). Will the snorkelers in any way dampen the fun time of the divers if we all go on a trip together (to Shark Ray Alley)?
Any ideas, suggestions?
Thanks for the input!
JennieE, aka Turnbun

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 104
If you can snorkle you're more than half way there. Take the class. In my opinion, if the class is in a pool you'll have more problems there than in the reefs in belize.

First go to the Hol chan reserve and snorkle. If that's no problem, then take a dive the next day (or same day). In fact, Hol chan is an excellent first dive (25-35 feet and bright. Great place! You'll have no problem arranging a dive with one of the many good operators there 24 hours in advance by just walking to their office.

Belize has some very nice sites that you will not need to go more than 45 feet deep. If you ask when arranging your dive. Hopefully you'll be so involved that you'll not think of it. The dive master will be happy (and appreciate) you're asking him for assistance geting down and up. Tip the divemaster.

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 31
Not to hamper your fun, but I feel the same way about SCUBA. Husband loves it...I hate it. For some reason I do not want to exhale. We have a pool and I tried his gear in it...I just can not do it. Also be aware that some dive places require you to take off your mask and clean it and put it back on under water. This is what really ended the experience for me. Hubby determined we both would have more fun if I just "layed on top of the water" and watched him [Linked Image]

Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 139
Both SCUBA divers and snorkelers can do a trip together. We have done large combo groups before on our 40 foot party barge. Our divemaster takes the divers our snorkeling guide does the snorkelers. We party a little and do Shark Ray together. Those who don't want to get wet can sunbath on the deck. If we can help, let us know. We have also done weddings and receptions on our party barge. Visit us at: or email at: [email protected]

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,080
KC Offline
Funny this subject should come up today. My husband and daughter spent all of Saturday and Sunday in their first SCUBA classes in a local pool (and classroom). I have been hesitant all along to do it (claustrophobia issues). When he came home from their pool experience and explained what they did (i.e. taking mask off under water, putting it back on, clearing it, and other little "exercises") I knew that I had made a good decision. My heart starts racing and I get short of breath just thinking about it. I enjoyed snorkeling, and that's where I'll stay. I think that snorks and scoobs can peacefully cohabitate! [Linked Image]


"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 170
My daughter and I went for a free introductory night with a local dive company in a pool. We had a great time! Ask your local dive companies if they offer a free or low cost intoductory evening and see for yourself if it is right for you!

jenniee, if you don't feel comfortable about your claustrophobia, then don't let anybody pressure you into diving. But may I suggest you at least go to the BEST dive instructor you can find in your area and discuss with him/her your concerns and phobias. Then I would suggest to him/her you MAY be willing to try a scuba 'experience' one on one. You can then first try to put your face in the water (like snorkeling) but with a regulator, you will notice very dry air and very easy breathing, then try to relax and float as if you are snorkeling, keep doing that until you are comfortable with the strange noise you are hearing (your breathing and regulator), keep doing that for awhile, if you feel comfortable enough head down a few feet in the sitting position and just breath and look around, but remember one thing at this point, 'don't bite the mouth piece in two', just remember nothing to worry about but trying to get over your fears of the unknown. If that felt somewhat comfortable I would do it again in a few days or a week. And if the day comes you decide to go for your dive certification classes, I would do them without your spouse to be. You will be much less pressured to do as he says rather that listening to your instructor and will learn much and also be much more confident. Two years ago I sent our 12 yr old daughter to get her dive certification at the local shop, and only stopped in once to see what was going on (6 wks, 3hrs a nt. 2x wk course) I done that because I wanted her to know her stuff and did not want her to 'depend' on me or anybody else for the basic stuff. Most of all don't get pressured into the sport, But I will say it is a blast. Check out this site, you will not see any of this at the surface.

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 55

I'm claustrophoic but I love diving and have been doing it for 10 years! It doesn't make me feel that way at all! Don't do it if you're not comfortable, but speaking from experience, it doesn't affect me diving. The puddle jumper flight over to AC - now that is another story!


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 138
I hear you--that little flight had me jumpy, especially when I left the island and didn't have any Belikens as tranquilizers!

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 322
Idaho- I think your photographs are enough to make anyone want to learn to dive. I think I'm going to give it a go! Thanks for sharing. IJ

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