Feed back is so important to us, we love to read Living The Dream Divers reviews. Last week we received an e-mail from someone who completed a Cayman Diving course.
The review short story puts in words the way many of us felt when we went Cayman Diving for the first time. With the authors permission we are adding it to our blog, Check it out:
I have a secret. That's a problem cause I'm not good a keeping secrets. I need to vent, I need to tell someone. But I'm scared they won't believe me. And I'm scared they WILL believe me. So I'll do it anonymously. I think it's safer that way. And, once you've heard my secret, you'll think so too.
I'm just an everyday, average guy; no different than any of you reading this review. I have an average apartment on the East coast of the US, I drive an average car, I work at an average job and make average money. Before the day that–…the day it all changed…I even took bland vacations so that when I got back to my average job, my wanderlust wouldn't take over and send me haulin' a** for the exit door.
Like I said, average guy.
2012 had been flying by. Seems like each year goes by faster and faster, ya know? I kept my head down at work, watched the deadlines pass (whether or not I made the deadlines is another story) and each time I took notice of the calendar a day, a week, a month had come and gone. Gotta get this report done, BAM, it's the 3rd week of January. This part is back-ordered and we need it now, BAM, it's March. Something in this schematic is wrong and it's causing a 50 amp breaker to pop, BAM, dear God, it's September?!? I need a vacation!
I thought through my options. I had 40 hours to burn and some cash set aside. I could do a drive up and down the coast, hit some roadside attractions. I could head to Six Flags and ride some coasters. I could do a museum tour in D.C. I could…
…Even now, it doesn't feel like I was the one who made the decision, ya know? It was like a voice, one that KINDA sounded like mine but also kinda didn't, spoke in my head: "You're missing out."
One. Little. Thought. "You're missing out."
And I was, I just didn't know what exactly I was missing out on. Too many days spent doing nothing. Too many wasted hours. Too many weeks gone by without stopping to notice they were gone. So, I made the decision: this year, I'd live a little. I'd do what I wanted, enjoy the time to myself, appreciate the days as they came. Someplace warm, tropical even. Someplace new, ya know? I ran down the list: Mexico? Jamaica? Virgin Islands?…
Grand Cayman. Live a little.
So, I booked the trip, packed my bags, and drove to the airport. The flight was long and boring. I napped, I read, I looked out the window and then…the island came into view. Clear Blue water. Oceans of green trees. Paradise. Let the good times roll, ya know?
The next few days passed by in a blur. I ate amazing seafood, I rode horses, I drank cocktails, but still, that little niggling thought: "You're missing out." I couldn't shake it. I was having the time of my life, why couldn't I let this go?! What was I missing?
I started researching Monday night. Out came the trusty laptop; Google leading the way. "Cayman Island Attractions", nope. Nothing. "Cayman Tourism Department", nada. "Things to do in Grand cayman", BINGO. The highest rated page in the search was "Living the Dream". And the voice in my head, the one that had been driving me crazy, it still didn't sound like mine. But it said "Yes."
If I had known what was gonna happen, would I still do it? …Yeah. Yeah, not a doubt in my mind. Call me crazy.
Living the Dream is owned by two people: Gary and Liz. I emailed Liz a simple question and expected a simple answer. I didn't get a simple answer. Instead, before I knew what was happening, she had setup a meet. Wednesday morning, I was to drive to the Lobster Pot on the west side of the island and wait for a man named Scott. Scott would answer all my questions. Scott would take care of me. Scott would show me…he would show me something impossible.
I don't remember what I did Tuesday. After what happened at the Lobster Pot, can you blame me?
But, I'm getting ahead of myself:
Wednesday morning, 9 a.m. I'm sitting in my rental car in the parking lot when a plain white van pulls up in the space next to me. The side of the van says "Living the Dream". The door opens and out comes the man I know only as "Scott". His grin is so big it almost doesn't seem to fit his face. He introduces himself and offers his hand. He tells me he'll take good care of me. I look into his eyes and I see the smile and humor is genuine, yeah, but…there's something else. Some…knowledge that he hasn't shared yet. I can't explain it but I somehow knew right then and there that I was in over my head, ya know? But that voice in my head comes back again. It says "Yes." So I shake his hand.
Scott starts off towards the water and I follow him. He starts talking about pressure and how the human body adapts to it. He shows me these pictures that…they don't make any sense! People, under the water, doing…no. You can't do what these pictures show! Nobody can! I tell him that what he's describing, it's impossible. And he looks at me, he's still smiling, and he says:
"You're missing out."
And he walks, he doesn't swim, he WALKS into the water until it's over his head. And I'm standing there, I don't know what to do, ya know? I just watch these bubbles float up from where Scott is standing and I know he's gonna drown, he just walked under the water and humans need air and HE'S UNDERWATER and he can't BREATHE and bubbles are still coming up and…and…he's still down there. And more bubbles come up. And I see, through the crystal clear water, I see him wave at me. And he's still smiling.
So I follow him.
Under the water, I follow him. I look around and I see this reef and there's just…there are these parrot fish and eels and red and green and blue and like the Dr. Seuss poem, ya know? And little Finding Nemo fish and the colors, my God the COLORS under there. And there's a cave that we swim through and Lion Fish and yellow and brown and all these sea plants and conch shells and oranges and purples and its the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. In my wildest dreams I couldn't imagine this…this universe down here. This life. And I'm still swimming under the water and it hits me that I've been under for too long. That I won't get to the surface on time to breathe. I'm gonna drown, I'M GONNA DROWN and I exhale the last of my air and cough and I know the taste of saltwater is going to fill my mouth and my lungs and… I inhale. Exhale again. Inhale. My eyes focus and I see Scott as I exhale again. He's still grinning.
This is my secret:
I can breathe underwater.
Gary and Liz and Scott, they…they gave me this…this power, ya know? I have a super power. I HAVE A SUPER POWER. Just like in a comic book.
I can breathe underwater…
I was in shock, ya know? I just swam around and followed Scott and kept breathing. UNDER WATER. Through other caves and under boats and in between the dock posts and through silt and clear water and…I don't know how long we were down there. Sometimes I think it was an instant, sometimes it feels like forever but at some point, Scott started swimming up. As I bobbed up to the surface beside him, my only thought was that I needed more. I needed to do it again. I HAD to. I begged Scott to show me again. I told him I had to see more. And he's still smiling, he says to contact Liz again. So I do.
Friday afternoon, I meet Gary on his boat at a dock in Red Bay. He introduces me to Phillip and Carl, his guides. "Guides for what?" I ask. "For the others" he says. And he points to a group of people approaching the boat.
I can breathe underwater…
But I'm not the only one. There are others. They, well, WE I guess… we call ourselves "Divers".
I had no idea…I just learned I could do this…this THING two days ago and yet Gary, he trusts me, ya know? He trusts me enough to take me out with this group who has been "Diving" for years. They kept me safe and they let me explore and they showed me a world underneath the world I knew. And when we were done "Diving" I talked to them. And you know what they said? They said that Gary and Liz, they're the best at what they do. If you look in the right places, and you pay the right price, you can find someone to teach you to "Dive". But if you wanna do it the right way, and you wanna be treated the right way, Gary and Liz are the people to go to. That's what they said to me. And I believe them, cause I know how well Gary and Liz treated me.
I flew back to the states Sunday. I got in my average car and I drove home to my average apartment. On Monday, I went back to my average job and filled out the same old average reports.
I think maybe what I said before isn't so true, ya know? About how I'm no different than you are? I think, maybe, I am different now. I don't know if its good or bad to be this kind of different, I honestly don't. But I do know that I can do something amazing and that I wouldn't give it up for a second. And I know that I need to keep this secret so that the whole world doesn't learn about us "Divers". But…I'm not good with keeping secrets.
So I'll compromise.
I'll write this review, yeah? And I'll do it anonymously. And that way, not everyone in the world comes across it. Just a few here and there. And most of you will read this and think "this guy is NUTS, nobody can breathe underwater!" Good. That leaves more ocean for us "Divers". But some of you will read this and you might just hear a voice in the back of your head. And this voice, it'll sound kinda like your voice but also kinda not, ya know?
And it'll say "You're missing out."
Gary is a PADI Master Instructor and an RYA 200 ton Off Shore. Having worked all over the world as a dive instructor and boat captain. He has spent the last 20 year based in the Cayman Islands. Together with his wife Liz they have built the number one scuba diving operation in the Caribbean.