Your Significant Other doesn’t dive … yet!

Simon exploring the uss tucker at uss tucker diving espiritu santo banner

You’re a diver, but your significant other doesn’t dive. Which is a real shame because you’re actually getting on surprisingly well! It’s been a few months now, and though you’ve been allowed out for a couple of dives at the weekends you really want to start planning that next big overseas trip. (Oh if only they would learn to dive!)

Direction Island is the Lunch Spot. If you learn to dive in the Cocos Keeling Islands you can swim with dolphins and dive with mantas.

So you’re at a bit of a crossroads . You can just go straight on ahead: you’ll continue diving, they’ll never start and either you’ll both live with it or you’ll part.

You could go left, and hang up your fins forever, or maybe still get a few local dives in and perhaps the odd dive when you’re on holidays overseas. But you stand a good chance of becoming a lapsed diver after a long, dry, spell.

Snorkel with convict surgeons at Muri Lagoon Rarotonga and learn to dive in the Cook Islands with the Big Fish Dive Centre

Or you could turn right! Start planning a trip to a place that offers a great overseas experience with some stuff they’d like to do, and oh my, just happens to have some great snorkelling or even, yes you guessed it – a Discover Scuba Diving course straight off the beach.

Diver on beach with equipment at Barefoot Manta Resort – a great place to learn to dive in the Yasawa Islands Fiji

“I tried it once, BUT …!”

There are a lot of reasons why people don’t dive and quite often when they’re telling you why it actually starts with: “I tried it once but…” And then they go on to tell you about equipment leaking or failing, or some physiological problem, usually ears, or it was too cold or the viz was crap or they didn’t like the pool they learnt in!

The pool is too crowded. Do not learn to dive here learn in the ocean instead it is much more fun

Remove all impediments!

Your challenge is to remove all these impediments before you even think about mentioning that there might be a diving option in this wonderful holiday destination that you’ve discovered. Think warm clear waters. With plenty to see. Ideally, they should offer an open water course in the shallows off the beach.

Divers silhouetted against the boat. Learn to dive from the beach in Fiji’s Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands

There is a real big difference between learning in a pool then stepping off a boat and descending a line vertically towards a bottom you can’t see, and gradually following a very slowly shelving beach in clear warm waters down to reef at 6 m. Much easier on the ears, novices will hardly even realise they’ve been clearing them!

Likewise, warm water means a lot less restrictive neoprene and also therefore a lot less lead! Clear water and learning in the shallows means there is at least something to see, and less focus on skills and drills. Much more time to understand why we learn to dive in the first place!

Coral head in the seagrass at Levuka Bay. Learn to dive in with Captain Cook Cruises Fiji then dive the Great White Wall Taveuni

Great Spots to learn to dive

If you’re looking for a spot overseas that might fit the bill, here are some suggestions:

  • Fiji’s Yasawa Islands, relatively close and inexpensive
  • The Cook Islands offers lots of other outdoor activities in addition to snorkelling and diving
  • Vanuatu has plenty of easily accessed diving and snorkelling (and we’re not suggesting you start with the SS President Coolidge!)
  • Thailand’s Koh Samui and other islands in the Gulf of Thailand, plus other places not far from Phuket like Koh Phi Phi
  • Sabah in Malaysia offers snorkelling and diving on both east and west coasts which can be combined with treks and orang utans!
  • Another great backpacking option is the Gili Islands, not far from Bali; some Dive Centres will even give you free accommodation if you take a dive course with them.

Gili Air is just a boat ride from Bali. A great place to learn to dive and have fun and chill

And a little planning goes a long way: make sure they have a well fitting mask before you go – on the pretence that they’ll be some good snorkelling at this magical destination.

Finally, don’t expect your significant other to come back from your first overseas trip as an advanced diver. If they do a Discover Scuba Diving session and enjoy it, you’re one step in the right direction of creating another new ocean advocate. Follow that up with a little video therapy from the Diveplanit YouTube Channel, and a daily dose of underwater love via our Instagram feed, and you’ll get them hooked eventually.

Good luck with that!

(If you enjoyed this article you might also like: DAN’s Ten Tips for Safe Diving)