Since I entered the magical world of scuba diving last April, I have been lucky enough to take part in some astonishing dives. I have done lake dives, sea dives, shallow dives, deep dives, boat dives, wreck dives, drift dives, night dives, (you get the picture), but one thing was missing. Nemo 33 is a dive in a deep (33m to be precise) Jacuzzi-like pool complete with tunnels and hidden alcoves. My two buddies went on last year’s trip and all the stories they shared were positive so I signed up.
There were two main things I was looking forward to on this trip, the diving (of course) and the social side in true DiveMania style. However, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the early start on Saturday (we were literally leaving in the middle of the night) and the fact that we were only doing two dives on the trip.
Here is what happened:
One lovely rainy cold Saturday morning (aka the middle Friday night), we met in an Essex theatre car park to board a coach that would take us to the legendary Nemo 33 in Belgium. The journey passed quickly as most people were catching up on sleep to ensure their energy levels were up by the time we arrived. However, the lack of sleep was wiped out by the increasing adrenaline levels that were flooding our veins as we got closer.
After the quick registration, completion of all necessary documents and checks of dive certifications, we were let into the changing area. By this time, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement as I have not been diving for a good 3 months, and the mental image of a warm deep pool with all its magical offerings made me feel like a child in a sweet shop. Upon getting to the poolside, we were greeted and briefed by the lovely staff who made sure we were aware off all the dos and don’ts.
Kit assembly, buddy checks, in we go! Can we make it first to the bottom? Not quite, but my buddy and I did manage to get down before the full-blown Jacuzzi effect started. As a novice to diving with only 33 (ironic at Nemo 33) logged dives, I was a little worried about diving without weights, about being taken up with the bubbles, about getting gas narcosis… but, as soon as I saw the view from the bottom, all my worries had disappeared and I was able to enjoy a great dive. We paid a visit to one of the alcoves, had a little chat, took pictures, and even gossiped a bit :)
All in all, the first dive was amazing and I could not wait for the second one.
Our plan for the second dive was pretty much the same as the first, get down as soon as possible and then hang around in the alcoves. Plan the dive, and dive the plan! That’s exactly what we did. We managed to get an amazing group picture on the 33 meter deep bottom, and because the excitement was bit more manageable this time, I was able to observe and enjoy the view and the environment more than on the first dive. I dangled my feet off the edge of the ledge during the safety stop, had another chat in the alcove, saved my buddy from being pranked… basically another awesome dive.
This was the end of the diving, but the fun did not stop there. We had a Thai dinner booked in the restaurant at Nemo 33. The food was delicious, and it was the ideal meal for us hungry divers, all 22 of us.
We then went on to spend the night in a hotel in the centre of Brussels. This was the perfect location for a great night out later that evening and it also gave us the opportunity to do some sightseeing the next morning. All in all, a great weekend with quality diving and elite company. :)
To summarise my trip:
Smashing diving: CHECK
Entertaining journey: CHECK
Great company: CHECK
Lots of fun: CHECK
Some culture: CHECK
My first-ever dirty kebab: CHECK