When my parents took me to the beach for the first time at the age of one, I immediately took off towards the ocean. I’ve had a connection with the ocean for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I fell asleep to a sound machine of waves every night. I feel like a fish out of water when I am not near it for a long time. The idea of being able to breathe underwater seemed too good to be true, but once I was introduced to scuba, I was hooked. I could stay underwater with a tank for hours if it were possible, maybe one day it could be.
I have become confident and comfortable underwater, which allows me to accomplish tasks without harming myself or the environment around me. I enjoy taking surveys, monitoring, transplanting, cleaning, and using different tools.
What I love is how every single dive is different. You are not guaranteed to see a particular species of marine life, and I enjoy the thrill of spotting it. When I’m scuba diving, I’m at peace. I could be going through any life problem on the surface, but once I hit the water, I enter what seems like an entirely new world, I let go, and I find tranquility.
My favorite dive site currently is Bajo because it is the first site I dove in Costa Rica. It is so easy to get wrapped up in research or other work-related dives that carry us away from the pure beauty of scuba diving. I look forward to traveling and finding new sites to fall in love with.
I don’t have a specific go-to-buddy, but it is usually someone who is just as excited and shares the same passion for marine life as I do. Someone safe and responsible but understands the importance of just enjoying the dive as well. Usually, someone that likes to dance underwater as much as I do. My favorite piece of equipment is my dive computer! I just recently purchased my first one, and now I can’t ever dive without it. I wear it even when I’m not diving (divers understand this). I feel much more comfortable with my dives having it.
A dive at home is also super important as no matter who you are or what you do; time is relevant to your life. In the diving world, time is extremely significant. A dive watch can tell you when to do what you need to do as a diver and ensure that you are doing it safely. Whether it’s in the water or out, a dive watch is necessary for responsible diving.
If I were to design a dive watch, I would make it efficient, affordable, and appealing. I would make it easy to use and come with well-written instructions. It would be able to light up for night dives, contain a compass, and of course, tell time. I would make it more affordable, considering just how expensive diving is, and I would like to make it a trendier model that comes in multiple colors.
So far, my proudest dive moment had to be completing my advanced and rescue diving courses; it has been a great personal achievement in itself. I feel like I have learned more about the scuba world in the matter of a month than I have the years open water diving.
Soon, I look forward to involving myself in more environmental efforts, especially coral. My passion is coral, and I want to do everything I possibly can to save our reef ecosystems. I will follow whatever opportunity allows me to do my part to join the fight against human mass destruction. The time is now to take action, and I am thankful to be involved.
(Kaitlyn Loucks is a PADI Divemaster at Go Pro Costa Rica.)