Finally we can go out again after the pandemic. I’m going on the day boat from Voodoo and we have a super nice family on board that regularly make me pee my pants from laughter as they are doo funny and joyful. I am therefore very surprised to see the always smiling daughter Eva with tears on our aft deck. What is going on? She can no longer equalize het ears.
As the salty drops trickle down her cheeks, she says: ‘My ears just won’t!’ Now a few days before heard from her mother that Eva is new to diving and is very busy. Well, having trouble equalizing can quickly become a major obstacle to overcome. And even though thinking is a great quality, thinking too much can also hold you back.
Several divers are now standing around her and trying explaining to her that she should just take her time and she put an arm around her. Meanwhile I take off my set and join the group. It’s obvious she is not bothering anyone but wants to be as fast with equalizing as the others but she believes that she does. After 10 minutes of trying she simply gives up. But as long as there is no medical problems with the ears, wouldn’t you think she can just dive? And that’s more or less what everyone tells her, just take your time and stay calm.
Now I had myself as new diver also my own battles and have learned not to think too much and sometimes its just better to do something without thinking. Yes I agree, that’s easier said then done. But, I can help her getting to that point. And so I take her apart to hear what she’s batteling with to find a chance to create a situation where we stop thinking and just do. And so I speak with her about why she finds it difficult and in particular why so annoying. The bottom line is that in the end she doesn’t bother anyone but just wants to be like other divers. She dives with her partner, sister, mother and father and they just want to dive with Eva. Better a short dive together and enjoy, then a long dive where one of the family members is asked have to give up, right? And I explain that to her. There’s no need to worry about what others think, we all had to learn, right? I offer her to make a short dive together, away from the group and in peace. Het tears finally start to dry and a smile appears as she would like to try, very nice. So we put on our set and we make a dive with the aim of relaxing, not overthink and hopefully gain some self-confidence. ‘Don’t rush and take the time you need!’, I tell her.
I’m there for her and if she likes or needs, she can always grab on to me, no problem. We jump into the water and as soon as she floats calmly and relaxed, we swim to the side
from the boat where a spare hangtank on a line at five meters of depth. Hand over hand we descend very quietly, take our time where the pressure in her ears is difficult to reduce and that’s how we come a few meters down. She calmly looks out her eyes and lets the
line go, I give her an OK sign and after she answers that, we swim quietly to the reef. During the first part of the dive, Eva is right next to me, a sign of insecurity. We fin as slowly as possible and after ten minutes takes she takes some distance and starts quietly to look around. What a super sign that she no longer focuses on me! As that means she relaxes and has stopped thinking, hihi. So we make a round and come after 15-20 minutes back to the boat, Eva takes off her regulator and puts her mask around her neck and what do I see? A fantastic big smile from ear to ear! look, that’s the best reward! Once back on board we discuss our dive and we come to the conclusion that It’s important to take the time you need to take care of yourself to prepare physically, mentally and technically. And if you If you need more time, you can also start a little earlier with preparation or simply as one of the first to enter the water to chill out for a bit before starting the dive. And if it’s nice to descend hand over hand via a line, then just do that. We are all just different and all have our limitations. It’s up to you to to find a suitable solution.
The dives and days after that Eva enjoys diving and it’s really great to run into her and the rest of the family underwater. The tears are gone and the fun only gets bigger, not just for
Eve, but for all of us…
Love life… Blow bubbles…