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The magical underwater world of Cape Verde

Story's from Travelers

· Travel

It's early 2015, and I just got fired from my job. I basically was left with two options. One, the unemployment office, and the second one, to travel. The reason I picked traveling was because I wanted to see more than what was available for me in The Netherlands. The first problem was also the most obvious one, money! We all know that you need cash to travel.

So I started an 'extensive' Google search about the means to travel while getting paid in the process.

I came across a few interesting options. So I decided to take the plunge! I picked Cape Verde as a first destination to start my traveling, mainly because my parents are Capeverdean. So adapting to a new environment would be an easier one. I ended up on Ilha do Sal. Ilha do Sal is one of the 10 islands that make up Cape verde. Ilha do Sal means Island of salt. This because of the history of salt mining.

A few weeks into my stay on the island, I was introduced to a scuba diving instructor. I was fascinated by the ability to be able to breathe underwater. From a very young age, I was fascinated by the ocean. I loved being in the water, and I could spend hours just seeing the waves crash on the beach. One thing led to another and I got invited to do what is called a DSD. DSD stands for discover scuba diving. It is basically your first introduction to scuba diving. I tend to forget a lot of things, but my first breath underwater isn't one of them.

The world is a busy place, with a lot of noise and moving parts around you at any given time. Scuba diving is the complete opposite of that. There are only two things you can hear: the blowing bubbles and the air racing through the regulator. A whole new world from Alladin is one of the first things that came to mind when I had my first ocean dive. The Discovery Channel does a decent job in displaying the underwater world, but it doesn't come close in showing how amazing the view really is.

Relaxing before a dive around the island of Sal

Swimming among the thousands of different fish and being part of their world is, however short the time, amazing! You will never forget your first turtle in its natural environment. Ever wanted to know how it would feel to float like an astronaut? Most of us will never have the opportunity to be an astronaut. However, with scuba diving, you come as close as you possibly could get. This is the reason why real astronauts practice spacewalks in a swimming pool.

I instantly fell in love after my Discover dive, and I wanted to know everything there was to become a professional. It was never the plan to stay on the island of Sal for as long as I did. But after hearing the possibilities to travel the world as a dive professional, becoming a dive instructor was the next mission.

I ended up doing all my courses with Capeverde Diving. I started with my Open water course and climbed the ladder towards Divemaster. The second I reached Divemaster status I wanted more.

As a Divemaster, you are qualified to guide dives. You have the opportunity to guide certified divers.

I wanted more than guiding people that already know how to dive. I wanted to teach somebody how to overcome their fear about breathing underwater. I wanted to show people that there is much more this world has to offer us than what is visible on the surface. Showing people a world that is new to them and having them put their trust in me is one of the things I love about the job.

Because of this, you tend to befriend them for the rest of your life. Every scuba diver loves sharing their amazing world with you. So far I learned to say thank you in more than 10 languages. Drank a cold one on top of a house in a favela in Brazil, and danced under the stars on a boat night dive in Bonaire. The experiences you have as a scuba diver will help you develop as a person.

So, if you are looking for that uneven tan, if you wanna float like an astronaut, or fist bump a seal, and see some sharks making love, start scuba diving!

By Breany Silva