Hang in there, buddy! – Ramon || During a Sodwana dive
“I have no plan B!” I played this line over and over in my head while spontaneously quitting my soul-sucking job without having another job secured and transferring a hell of a lot of hard earned saving to my check account.
First, I booked my Advanced course at Coral Divers in Sodwana, secondly, I warned the parentals that I am coming for a visit. Finally, I booked my flight from Cape Town to Durban. Below is the video version of this trip, courtesy of Francois Nel.
As I walked to board that first flight out I could feel myself briefing a little easier. The best part of not having a plan B is that failure is not an option. I went for two interviews in my notice period and was seriously reassessing my quality of life. After this adventures, I was notified that I got both.
My dad, just being the amazing man that he is, was waiting for me at the airport and decided to drive me to Sodwana himself.
This time around I decided to upgrade to one of Coral Diver’s cabins with an attached outside bathroom – which is magical btw. It is strangely freeing standing in a wooden shower with trees and leaves dancing above you. Also, the cabin at least had a plug and I had one bar signal in there.
The evening I met my A-team (A – Advanced, see what I did there). A medical student from Richards Bay and her mother, as well as 3 best friends that make this trip every year. They immediately pulled me closer, offered to pour me a brandy and coke and lit a hubbly. There was no way I was going to bed early! We received our study material and were told that we please need to hand in the test the next day.
I was surprised to see the guys up early and ready to dive right in after the night’s shenanigans. We had coffee and rusks and filled in our tests. We were kitted and ready when the tractor came to fetch us for our first dive of the day.
The dives were fantastic and magical. The water was warm and we saw millions of fish, coral, turtles, rays, eels, whales, dolphins and mantas. Marine life is in abundance here. Advanced was a different experience altogether. Peek performance Buoyancy, boat diver, underwater navigation, drift diver, and naturalist was my specialties of choice.
In the evenings we were making food together in the large self-catering communal kitchen. What I love about this place is the secure fridge space and that you can order from the restaurant if you don’t feel like a braai. After we ate the evenings faded away in lekker conversation while sharing a hubbly, playing pool at the Drunken Tree or dancing the night away at Maak ‘n Jol.
We had one incident where Francois ran out of air on a dive as he wanted to prolong his dive. He then swam to his buddy and asked him to share air (buddy breath). Usually, at this stage, we would ask for cash or credit, but Ramon just showed him the signal that says “Hang in there buddy”, and swam away. Luckily Tian (Our dive instructor) is very observant and immediately shared his air with Francois.
I booked nine unforgettable dives during my time here. I even convinced my dad and the fam who joined me the last two days to squeeze in an extra dive before we took the long road back to reality. Realizing that this addiction is of course partially his fault made him cave quite easily.
I have been asked by a friend why I always book with Coral Divers and the answer is rather simple. Coral is family, they taught me how to dive, they welcome me back with warmth and I simply cannot imagine staying anywhere else when diving in Sodwana. And of course, the lollipops after each dive is part of the deciding factor 😉
There is nothing on land that compares to floating among the underwater wonders. There are no hellish CFO’s, no office politics, no bills, no fights, no worries… It is neutral territory.
A Dive Addict