If you’ve ever wanted to explore the world underneath the waves, you’ll want to read about Julie’s and Mitch’s individual experiences with scuba diving. Both Julie and Mitch are wheelchair users, and both developed a love for the activity after their first encounter.
Julie first discovered scuba diving after meeting the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) at an Abilities Expo. She was so enthralled with the prospect of scuba diving, that she signed up to go on a trip to the Caiman Islands with the HSA to experience the thrill of ocean exploration. “From that time on, I was just hooked,” she says. “The wetsuits are modified with zippers to facilitate putting it on.” And she uses webbed gloves while in the water to help propel her more easily since she isn’t able to use her legs for underwater mobility.
Steve also shares his first encounter with scuba diving. When Steve was approached by an HSA instructor who told him he would help get him in the water, Steve’s first reaction was, “You’re going to do what? Are you out of your mind?” Of course the instructor was serious, and soon Steve found himself in his very first scuba lesson, exploring the ocean floor. Steve recalls:
“The first thing I did when I got down there was I looked up, and I exhaled, and I could see my bubbles going up. That was the most exciting that had ever happened to me since my injury.”
What undersea adventures have you experienced? Share them with us, and you might be featured on AbleThrive!