Girls Gone Diving to Unexso, Grand Bahama
I was so looking forward to our annual Miss Scuba Ultimate Girls Getaway. This year was the year of changes for me. It made me dizzy. I needed some time to reorient my inner compass and figure out where I am heading.
Grand Bahama island is only a short flight away from the United States, but it is a different enough world to get away from reality. All twelve girls flu in to Freeport at different times. Some I knew from home, while others we first met the next morning at yoga practice by the pool in the harbor.
We breath in the crispiness of the early hour and filled our mind with the colors of the wakening sun. Something was empowering and strengthening about sharing yoga with ones girlfriends. Everybody checked their egos at the gate. We shared our energy.
I wore the same beat up top for practice I always seemed to pick out from my closet at home as well from dozens of newer workout clothes. The old, once dark blue faded to off-white and had several small holes on it. Yet it comforted me like no other piece of designer outfit ever did. We shared history. We sweat together in Indonesia, Europe and last year’s ultimate girls getaway in Mexico. I felt the same about my girlfriends whom I conquered many oceans with. Their presence calmed me. Over the years we shared laughs and tears. We swapped bathing suits and jeans. We enjoyed being pampered flying first class together and we got stranded in tucked away places where no one spoke English. We went through brake ups and make ups. We helped each-other move and paint. We walked dogs together in sweats and combed one another’s hair before slipping into glamorous dresses before award ceremonies. Our sisterhood can only be understood by women.
Our first dive itself was very uneventful. I did not see much that excited me. I just returned from an amazing journey to Papua New Guinea the week before, where pigmy seahorses, ghost pipefish and other crazy colorful creatures posed for my camera. After a while I did not even look at the reef, started to study the enjoyment, curiosity and peace on my girlfriends' faces. When Eo saw a shark, she swam quickly (before she took any pictures of it) to get Mariann's attention, to share the treasure. Lisa was poking around looking for stuff, clicking her camera away. She took a picture of every girl and every critter. Julia sat back, floated slightly above our group and kept her eyes moving from one girl to another, like a worrisome hem; but than again. That is what she always does. Keeps us safe and out of trouble. Sally, our oldest diver (68) is the one with the most childish heart. She hovered around like a butterfly; she is curious to see everything and easy to please. She has the least dive experience amongst us. The happiness that the pair of butterfly fish swimming by caused her, was priceless. I was happy to share the ocean, another day and another dive with my girlfriends.
It was superb to see Cristina (our host in Unexso) again. She is such knowledgeable, strong yet humble girl. She is an expert on shark behavior, one of the very few female full cave instructors, a yogi and a runner. Yet, Cristina feels that she is not worthy of becoming a member of the Women Divers’ Hall of Fame because she doesn’t have a piece of paper saying she is a marine biologist. In my mind she reversed what Jaws did to so many people’s mind. She keeps educating people about the beauty and behavior of sharks –these misunderstood creatures.
Being surrounded by these charismatic women while my dive vacation in the Bahamas had an energizing and a calming effect on me at the same time. After I returned home, the memory and lessons learned during our stay will be with me for a very long while.
This trip made some of my long time dreams come true. It is an absolute MUST DO.
Read about diving in the Bahamas HERE
See pictures of the trip HERE
Written by Szilvia Gogh, California. Photo Credit: Eddy Raphael