We’ve done some snorkeling, but haven’t spent much time below the surface of the ocean. To be honest, fish kinda freak me out, especially if there’s a swarm of them coming at me! I’m also not the best swimmer. I tend to clamp down on my snorkel gear from the anxiety, which will give me headaches and jaw aches for days. It’s a work in progress, but one day we will be diving!
While we were in Bali, we had a chance to try helmet diving (some people call it dive walking). It’s a great introduction to exploring below the surface and also great for those who never plan on venturing into the world of scuba diving.
Unlike diving, you don’t need any training, and it’s a lot easier to breathe with the Dive Walking helmet than it is with scuba or snorkel gear. The helmet itself reminds me of the classic diving suits (think 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). You simply pull it over your head and let it rest on your shoulders. Although it’s heavy on land, it gives you the necessary weight to keep you on the sea floor. There’s a pipe at the top that pumps in the air from the boat so you can breathe like normal. After we got everything on, we climbed a ladder to the bottom of the ocean and the fun began!
The water was fairly choppy when we visited, and we still felt the sway of the current on the ocean floor. Our guide wrangled us in place and also brought fish food, so that we could attract the fish to us. I had no knowledge of this, and our guide was unaware of my phobia, so at one point I was surrounded when he forced the food in my hands. I even got bit by a tiny, evil fish! I’m telling you, I do not like fish!
I did it!
TIPS FOR HELMET DIVING IN BALI:
- They didn’t teach us this, but going down to the ocean floor can build up a lot of pressure in your ear and head and be painful. Using the valsalva maneuver (closing the mouth, pinching the nose, and trying to breathe out through the nose) was an effective way for me to equalize the pressure.
Besides the last part, it was a fun and unique experience. My favorite part was that I got to cup a tiny nemo in my hands. I’m not sure that I’m eager to try it again anytime soon, but now that we have access to under water housing for our camera, I might have to go just to take photos! Who knows… maybe if we take some scuba diving classes, I will eventually get comfortable under the sea.
What are your favorite water sports?
Have you been snorkeling or diving?