by Long Pham
Today was a fun and informative day for me— it was the day that I made my first dive as a certified diver. It did not start well at first because I was so confident that I descended way too fast. I didn’t think it was a big deal at first until Chris told me after that I could have ruined the whole dive for everyone if I’m below the depth limit, which I wasn’t. This made me realize how my own carelessness could have negatively affected everyone else’s plan. After that I followed Chris’s instructions and we all had a great dive. That afternoon we met with Caroline from Clean Coast Bonaire to learn about the trash around Bonaire. I didn’t believe there would be so much trash because of how well the beach and the reef here are protected. That changed after we met with Caroline and did a beach cleanup right afterwards. The beach cleanup was only 30 minutes but the number of discarded cigarette butts we found were in the hundreds, along with many other types of trash like bottle caps, plastic, etc. After the beach cleanup we had a chance to either go diving or snorkeling. I chose snorkeling this time and honestly, I had a blast. Many people would think that diving is always the obvious choice, but snorkeling is so much more relaxing to me and still gives you the ability to look at the beauty of the marine life. Also, I think snorkeling helps you to appreciate diving more because diving enables you to be so up close with the beauty that you can only see from a distant while snorkeling.