30 for 30 #12: First Open Water Dive in the Keys

First Dive - 2003

First Dive – 2003

During the spring semester of 2003, while a student at Auburn University, I took SCUBA diving as an elective. I was studying Marine biology, and I thought learning to dive would benefit any future studies.

While the majority of the class took place in the university’s aquatic center, in order to become fully certified, the students had to complete a certain number of open water dives. To facilitate this, the instructors offered a class trip to the Florida Keys during spring break.

A Spring Break trip to dive in the Florida Keys? I was all in.

Much of that trip was a memorable experience – the bus trip from Auburn to Florida, the seafood we ate in the keys, the wreck dive, the Jesus statue, the crummy hotel in which we stayed, and seeing Key West for the first time.

However, the best part was my first dive – Looe Key – and experiencing seeing God’s underwater creation. It was amazing to see fish, corals, starfish, and anemones – things I had seen only in movies or books – up close and personal. It was truly worshipful.

That first dive was the beginning of many – more in the Keys, rivers and springs in Florida, Australia, and Thailand. While every open water dive has been fun and memorable, I’ll never forget my first one.

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