Updated: Nov 2
October 10, 2020
I decided to take a last minute dive trip with my local shop to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was my first time diving in the Atlantic Ocean. It was going to be a boat dive with about a 2 hour ride to the dive site. I had been on boat dives before in Panama City Beach, FL , the Florida Keys, and Bali. I even went sailing all the time in Tampa Bay. I only ever got sick at night down in the keys, but never sick enough to worry about it.
It is 6:45am, I had a protein shake and a banana, and I headed to the meetup spot. Several divers were talking about the weather, and how there were going to be rough seas. My divemaster made sure I was good and had enough Dramamine. I said I didn't have any because I don't really get seasick, and I'm great at rollercoasters. He makes a face and says, "Are you sure?". I say yes, with no worries.
Later, on the boat, my dive buddy and I set up our gear and talked about the dive. This was his first time scuba diving in the ocean and third time to the ocean ever. I made such a big deal about how exciting this is, and how great the dive was going to be! I was really hyping it up. After about 30 min on the boat, I felt a little queasy and told him to look at the horizon if he felt dizzy, but still not making a big deal.
Before I knew it, I was in the VIP section. No, not very important person... Vomiting In Progress... This was it.. the beginning of the end.
I was miserable. My dive master tried taking care of me by offering Dramamine, food, and water. I didn't take any of it because I though it would make me feel worse. He gave up on offering me things but kept trying to talk to me to keep my mind off of being sick.
After 2 hours of riding to the dive site, the boat captain decided the waters were too rough, and we needed to go to a different site closer to shore. So, we rode along for another 30 minutes.
During this time, I had to move out of the way for other VIP guests... One thought it was going to be a good idea to read on the boat, another didn't have breakfast, and the others didn't take Dramamine.
After what felt like forever, we arrived to the dive site. The dive master said I would feel better under the water because there I can't feel the waves, but I still didn't listen. I was the only guest left on the boat and I just contemplated my life decisions.
The first dive was done, but there was a second dive, a second chance for me to save myself. I didn't take it. Every time I moved or just looked around, I felt so sick. I couldn't wait to get off that boat.
After the dive I apologized to my buddy for hyping it up so much. He made it into the ocean, but only to experience huge & kind of scary waves, a fairly strong current, and only decent visibility. I did make it clear that diving in the Atlantic Ocean is very different than the equator, and to not loose hope for the ocean before diving there.
We had both already paid for the next day, but we knew the conditions were going to be the same or worse... Some divers dropped out and skipped the dive, but a few of us kept strong and tried again. I took all of the advice my dive master gave me, and I was ready to go the next day and the day was great! Click here to read the post with that advice.
I learned two big lessons that day. Listen to your dive master, and try again. I wish I didn't have to learn it that way, but I guess I had to in order to really understand. I hope you never have to go through it!