A DIP Down Memory Lane

Now that you’ve heard and learned many things about Gouda’s city centre, we’re going to move location. About a 15 min car drive from my house brings us to a nearby city (we all say it’s still a part of Gouda, but don’t say that to somebody who lives there, because to them it’s NOTHING like Gouda). Here we have the Reeuwijkse Plassen. Mention this place to a Gouwenaar (Inhabitant of gouda) And they will provide you with many stories about how they spent their summers there. Basically, if you are a student you go there with your friends, as soon as the weather gets better. And as a child, that was the beach you grew up on. I have many great memories of that place as a kid.

“The most beautiful place in “Gouda”…”

But the memories don’t stop because recently I have made much more that I want to remember. the Reeuwijkse Plassen is quite a sizeable lake on which you can do windsurfing, sail, swim and thing I find most interesting; scuba diving. They have set up a small perimeter with buoy’s in which no boats are allowed and it is save to go diving. As a fun touch for divers, they’ve let down a bus without the glass windows. It has been sitting on the bottom of the lake for a while now and many fish have found this to be their home. It’s fun to be able to swim through the bus and sit down in the driver’s seat. Apart from the bus, you can find a wooden platform at 5 meters/16 feet. Here you can practice some of the exercises, or if you are just like me and can’t sit still… Take a look underneath the platform. It’s dark, but I’ve found a pike a few times now. Last but not least, there is a Christmas tree forest underwater. Nope, I’m not joking. And to be honest, it’s kinda freaky. All of a sudden I see a Spiky tree-like shadow coming towards me, out of the dark.

I have to be honest with you, diving there is quite the thrill. It’s so dark you need a light all the time. This way you only see the things you shine your light on. If all of a sudden you see a fish swimming trough your light beam, that makes your heart beat a little faster.

You may wonder, is there something you hate about diving in the Netherlands? Yup there sure is.

  1. The water is pretty much, ALWAYS, cold. Which means I need to wear a double 7 mm wetsuit to be somewhat warm. This then makes you feel like you are the Michelin Man.
  2. It’s dark. As soon as you reach the 5/6 meters depth, there is no sunlight anymore. And light is something you need to get those nice colors in your video’s and photos. Even if I use my torch the pictures will always have a greenish effect. The Netherlands just isn’t as colorful as many other destinations.
  3. The visibility sucks. Max 10 meters. And then we talk about ‘Amazing visibility.’ And not to forget, when you accidentally hit the bottom of the lake, all the sand will flare up and your visibility all of a sudden is only an arm length.

These things, are the main reason why I love to go diving when I’m on a holiday. Because instead of the Netherlands the water actually has a nice temperature, so you don’t necessarily need a wetsuit. The visibility is about 30 meters instead of 3. And the colors of the corals are so much more intense.

To finish off this post I would like to tell you about my most amazing dive so far.

The Bahamas, March 13th, 2016

Two days ago, my dad and I started our adventure in the Bahamas. We got on board of the Bahamas Aggressor, ready to join our first ever live-aboard. Today on the schedule: dive with some sharks! Arrived at the dive site I looked down into the water. beneath the surface, I saw 1..2..3..4! sharks swimming around. Oh my, in about 30 min I’m jumping in the water and I will be in the middle of THAT! My eagerness to jump in was real, I need to get those perfect close-up shots of the sharks. To show off to my friends.

Camera ready? Check! Tank open? Check! I give the ‘okay’ sign to my buddy and we descend… at about 20 meters deep my dad and I take place on the deck of a shipwreck. The other divers, one by one, find a spot as well. In a circle, we wait for the divemaster. There he comes, with the box of fish! A few reef sharks circle around him. Then the fun starts. As soon as a piece is taken out of the box 4/5 sharks will race to fight for that little bit of fish. Amazing, I got it all on camera.

The only thing the sharks think of is food. So as long as we would just sit down and don’t make any fast movements we didn’t need to be scared of getting eaten. They did say: “don’t wave to each other, you hand is the same color as a fish…” At some point a shark swam over my head to get to the food, another hit my camera. Nice shot! I even touched a shark. During the dive, there were at least 30+ sharks around. A-MA-ZING!

As you can tell, diving in the Bahamas is a lot different from diving in Gouda. But actually, I like all my dives. Diving is just a lot of fun. Oh and if I was scared? Actually, not at all. Not at that time at least. There was so much adrenalin in my body that I didn’t think of being scared once. Only after I came back and people said things like this: Are you crazy!? You know they can bite, right? You are insane! At that time I was kinda thinking… hmm yeah, it was pretty bad-ass to go diving with sharks.

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