Visit Orlando helped me to have several first time experiences and I was enthusiastic about most of them. However, this one really caused me to stress out. I wasn’t afraid of walking with marine life, I was terrified of feeling claustrophobic in the breathing helmet.
I arrived at Discovery Cove with a smile on my face and worry on my mind. Grand Reef’s innovative, new experience is called Sea Venture. It is an underwater walking tour and a dive helmet is worn so humans can breath. I have never been comfortable with the concept of scuba so I was fearful about this adventure.
The aquarist did his best to assure me that he would be by my side and I would be fine. There is even an informative orientation in which participants review the breathing apparatus. I was not at all anxious about being in the water with rays or sharks, I was anxious about how anxious I might get in the sea helmet.
The staff was very supportive and addressed my concerns, reassuring me at all times that I would be ok, and if I wasn’t they would be able to help me to get out of the water in a timely manner. I eased down the ladder and the dive helmet was placed on my head. I will admit that I had a momentary flutter of panic before I descended. However, the comfort of the helmet and flow of the air gave me the confidence to go for it.
This was a truly magical experience for me. I overcame another fear and enjoyed being below the surface. Rays soared overhead and I stood alongside hundreds of fish. The guides stuck close by and provided info on a wipe board explaining what we were seeing and what was coming next. They also took plenty of pictures with the underwater cameras lent to everyone by Discovery Cove. This was educational, exciting and a terrific addition to my 49 first time experiences before I turn 50.