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Adventures of the Deep Blue–Learning to Dive

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Naziah Ali getting ready for her dive

With palms sweaty, pilule stomach jittery, and heart racing, you go weak in the knees on your first underwater dive. But it’s all worth it and you’d want to do it again anyway, says Naziah Ali.

Like some people, I also have a bucket list. Yes, I have a list of things do before I die. Not that I think I would kick the bucket anytime soon, but then again, you never know.

My list is something like this, visit Machu Picchu (Peru), visit the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia), snowboard in Nagano (Japan), surf in Bali (Indonesia), learn the flamenco in Seville (Spain), go Safari (anywhere in Africa), go shark diving (anywhere in the world), and a few more that I would much rather not list here; in case my mum is reading this article, my life-long travel ban would kick in instantly.

As soon as I hit the 30-year mark, I decided I should start crossing off a few things from my list. So when I met motivational speaker and shark-attack survivor Paul de Gelder a few months ago, I realised it was time to take the plunge. Paul, a former navy clearance diver, lost his two limbs when a three-metre bull shark attacked him in Sydney Harbour. He was recently in Fiji to face his fears–swimming and feeding the bull sharks. Hearing his stories about the underwater world and the beauty of the deep blue I couldn’t resist any longer. I was going to get my PADI license to dive with sharks.

For the complete story purchase the June 2013 issue of Mai Life Magazine.

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