Call me shallow: my favorite new reason to dive

Australia, Fitness & Workouts, Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Solo Travel — By on September 20, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Yes the schools of fishies are pretty and there’s no faster way to find an instant community of adventurous new friends, but on my first liveaboard experience, I found another great reason to take the plunge: scuba diving burns insane amounts of calories!

I’d heard that rumor long before my overnight dive experience, but never really believed it…after all, how can an activity where you’re gliding along peacefully just under the surface of the ocean be strenuous enough to qualify as a workout?

Well, let me just say that after three day dives and one night dive, I was more than a little hungry. I was ravenous. Like, put-salt-on-anything-not-nailed-down-and-devour-it-whole ravenous. I couldn’t understand what the heck was wrong with me until an instructor confirmed that scuba diving burns anywhere from 300 to 400 calories per hour. He explained that the body has to work like crazy to process the strange mix of gases that you’re introducing into it every time you breathe from an air tank at depth. Even if you’re not fighting current along the reef or kicking hard to get back to the boat, your systems are busy trying to keep stable in a strange aqueous environment. All of that speeds up your metabollism–and torches calories.

It still sounded like a lot of bunk, but I was powerless to argue with my newly stoked appetite. Fortunately for the divers and crew, the Kangaroo Explorer served four meals a day and always had snacks on hand.

I have to say, my days on the boat (which started with a 6:30am pre-dawn dive!) quickly became a cycle of dive, eat, dive, snack, dive, eat, dive, sleep, repeat, I loved the camaraderie between the crazy crew, instructors and passengers. I bonded with Jen, a British girl who might as well have been Bridget Jones in a wetsuit, and Joost, a Dutch guy with a great sense of humor (he took this photo of himself when I wasn’t looking) a litany of wacky stories. I had secret crushes on all of my beautiful male dive instructors and dug the attention they provided both underwater and above it.

As for the diving itself? Well, it wasn’t quite the Great Barrier Reef splendor I’d been hoping for, and I realized that I’d probably have to pay more, and stray even farther from Cairns in order to see some truly remarkable underwater wildlife.

The day we got back to shore, I signed up for the next trip. Here’s a few pix from our post-liveaboard cocktail hour.

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  • Gary A says:

    If you ever get the chance, dive in Palau.

  • K. says:

    I just started diving in the Maldives a few weeks ago, Amanda, and then again in the DR this week, but now you have me wanting to do a live-aboard! I hear there is an amazing one in the Galapagos Islands…