Mighty Life List
Oct 18 2011

Lifelist: Learning to Scuba Dive

Things of which I have been afraid in the last few days:

  • Water filling my snorkel mask, and I drown.
  • Water somehow getting into my air tank, and then I drown.
  • Old-timey sailor sea-zombies pulling me to a watery grave.
  • I resurface too quickly and my lungs explode like a pair of mating puffer fish on a line.
  • Sharks.

Awestruck moments in the last few days:

  • I can breathe underwater.
  • Everything is so blue.
  • CHOOO-KAAAHH… CHOOO-KAAHH… This is what Darth Vader sounds like when he breathes under the motherf***ing water.
  • This is just like a flying dream.
  • I am a bionic turbo-mutant (half woman! half machine!) who defies the laws of physics with my awesome breathing powers!!
  • No one can reach me by phone.

So far, I’ve only practiced in the pool, but right now I’m on a flight to St. Lucia where I’m getting my Open Water Dive Certification for my birthday. I decided to get certified and take the trip about seven days ago, when a girlfriend said, “Do you want to go diving with me in St. Lucia?” And then I said, “Yes.”

For the record, I am also afraid of zombie sharks.

41 Responses to “Lifelist: Learning to Scuba Dive”

  • QoB Says:


    I got my Open Water 3 years ago and it’s been amazing. I’m going to Iceland to dive in Thingvatn this December (and hoping to tick at least one other thing off my Life List while I’m there).

  • Dr. Noodleman Says:

    I would recommend to you this campy zombie movie, wherein there is an epic upderwater fight scene between a zombie and a shark:

  • Leah Says:

    Oh, that is so awesome. I can’t wait to hear stories of how your dive went. I have a medical issue that keeps me from scuba, so I live variously through all of you divers.

  • Em Says:

    This is so great! (I just bought 2 wetsuits – apparently they are summer and winter models – at a yard sale because on my life list is surfing.)

  • Kara Says:

    You must get an underwater camera and take photos! :)

    Seriously, if you think diving in the pool is awesome, then just wait till you are in the ocean and surrounded by all of the pretty pretty fish. Your head will explode from all of the mega-awesomeness.

  • Amanda Says:

    Wow! So excited for you and nervous, too! Can’t wait to read all about it!

  • Melissa Says:

    Diving is the best. I just got certified and am 1 week away from diving a glacial river in Iceland! Good luck!

  • Shevon Says:

    You are much more brave than I am. I fear finding dead people underwater, so I’m unable to force myself to SCUBA!

  • Tammie Says:

    Diving in the ocean, esp. the Caribbean is like being in another world. And it’s THE BEST way to get some time to yourself. I’ll never forget my first time. I hope you have a blast!

  • Kim Says:

    Oh so happy for you!

  • Sarah Says:

    That is so cool – have fun!

  • Daffodil Campbell Says:

    I was wondering about the tweet last week re:getting certified in SF right away. Hoped it was for another great adventure.
    This counts. Enjoy.

  • Lisa @ Hers, His and Ours Says:

    That is so awesome! What a great birthday gift to yourself. I have always wanted to scuba dive, but I have major claustrophobia. Scared I will panic when I am so many feet under water. Can’t wait to hear all about it – I’m sure it will be amazing!

  • Nora Says:

    When I was a kid, I read some paperback novel in which a girl’s father and brother die of The Bends, and she’s forced to support her family through deep sea diving (I think she’s an oyster diver? Maybe?). Anyway, I’ve been afraid of diving ever since. You go, not-at-all-in-danger-of-being-attacked-by-zombies girl!

  • Aine Says:

    I’ve always been a little freaked out about the idea of scuba diving (there’s just so much ocean… what if I get lost? I have similar fears about being in outer space, not that I’m astronaut material :-P )

    But if its like flying dreams? Oh wow, that just sounds so amazing. I treasure those dreams.

  • laura @ in widening circles Says:

    Happy early birthday, Maggeh. Can’t wait to hear about the adventure.

  • shan Says:

    you rock maggie… use the force! (and the wetsuit suits you!)

    thank you for being an inspiration to try new things…!

  • Meegan Says:

    Diving is my favorite thing, like, ever. I want everyone to experience it and I’m so glad you are doing this! AWESOME. And another check off the life list? You are KILLING that sucker!

  • HeatherJamieson Says:

    You had me at zombies & mating puffer fish. I do not know you, yet find it impossible not to like you very, very much :). That is all :).

  • Jessica Says:

    This is definitely on my life list. I’m so excited for you!

  • Tarable Says:

    I was super-anxious before my first open water dive, but once you’re down there, it’s amazing to realize how much of the underwater world so many of us never get a chance to experience. Enjoy it!

  • Savvy in San Francisco Says:

    I went diving in between the Grand Tetons in St. Lucia! Absolutely gorgeous! Have an amazing trip!

  • Cora Says:

    The more you dive, the less anxiety you will have. I was claustrophobic when I started my OWD, I just loved it too much to quit. Now I’m a Divemaster (which btw is a life list check off!). Although, I still fear those dead people… good thing I hear there aren’t that many of them around in scuba-diving places. Enjoy, just never hold your breath ;)

  • ms13 Says:

    eek, i was scared of the exact same things when i took my first OW class in zanzibar! I freaked out the first time (in a pool) so bad I almost quit – but it is awesome….enjoy it, you’re now part of an awesome community.

  • heather Says:

    This is amazing. Also, I’m heading to Mexico in a few days and will be snorkeling in some caves. This fills me with both abject horror and excitement. I mean, who knows what lurks in the water of a cave, right?

  • The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful Says:

    Sharks don’t eat redheads with curly hair. So you’re good.

  • Nicole Says:

    You are so badass!!!

  • Kris Says:

    Nine years ago, I jumped on a plane & got married on the beach at Sandals in Saint Lucia. You could hear the waves breaking in the background as we said our vows, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

    The beaches will astound you & the clarity you find in the water will take your breath away. I was only brave enough to try snorkeling (way too buoyant to scuba!), but have always found that being in the water restores my soul. Wishing the same comforting affirmations for you, my dear.

  • Auntie Says:

    I’m jealous. Love the Caribbean!

  • Cheree Says:

    Great post. I had the opportunity to learn in the South Pacific several years ago and I have never regretted it. You are going to LOVE being in open water.

    I had many of your same fears when I learned how to scuba dive. It was so hard not to panic in the pool when the instructor told me to take off my mask and clear it while under water. I am so glad I overcame my fear and obtained my PADI open water diving certification. It was so worth it!

  • Alexis Says:

    I believe the technical term for bionic turbo-mutant is “cyborg” ;) That’s not to say you can’t be turbo-bionic, but don’t forget you’re also a cybernetic, shark-evading badass. Well done.

  • MondoMOM Says:

    I would totally like to go scuba diving one day. Have fun & good luck.

  • Megan Says:

    Happy birthday!

  • Paige Says:

    For those who are afraid to commit to scuba without knowing if they could handle it, consider snuba, a cross between scuba and snorkeling. If not an adventure on its own, it’s at least a cheaper way to see if you might like scuba.

  • Desi Says:

    WOOOT!! Rock ON, lady! I hope everything goes well for you. Happy birthday and enjoy St. Lucia :)

  • rebekah Says:

    Are you dating anyone?

  • Elaina Winter Says:

    All I have to say is HELL YEAH! Have a fierce birthday! I hope this year brings you the peace you seek, true joy and happiness within your soul, and many more amazing adventures on your journey of AWESOMENESS! All the best! Also, check out this book, “How to Get More Love, Money, and Success by Traveling on Your Birthday” by Bob Marks, it popped in my head when I read that you were traveling on your birthday. Enjoy every moment!

  • Missives From Suburbia Says:

    I told you on Facebook that you would never regret this, and with St. Lucia being one of your first trips, I can say with certainty that you’re about to learn that firsthand. Underwater meditation. That’s what diving is. Enjoy the beauty and the near-silence. I’ve been diving for almost twenty years. It never stops being amazing.

  • CW Says:

    Oooooh, this is on my life list too! I’m so excited for you and will hope to see pictures!

  • Heather O'Neill Says:

    Hi Maggie: I crossed one off my Life List too: SKYDIVING!!

    Here is a post I wrote about it: http://holyokole.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/life-list-skydiving/

    You look a hell of a lot cuter in you wetsuit than I did in my harness but I had an amazing experience, chub be damned!

  • Megan Says:

    Maggie, this reminds me of you somehow, but didn’t know how to get it to you, hence the non-related comment on this post – http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/exhibitions/Three-Graces/overview

    The selection of photos under “all photos” is stunning!