Real Divers: Louis van Niekerk

Real Divers features the divers we’ve encountered over the years – people just like you, who have decided to venture into the exciting underwater world of scuba diving.  Here’s a glimpse into why they learned to scuba dive and what makes scuba diving so special to them.

This week’s Real Diver is Louis van Niekerk from Cape Town

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What level diver are you?
Open Water

How old were you when you first qualified as a Scuba Diver?
27

Why did you learn to scuba dive?
I’ve always loved the sea and swimming and I wanted to experience a new world.

 What is it that makes scuba diving so special to you?
Nothing on the surface comes close. When one is down there it is like you are on another planet – full of beautiful and diverse “alien” life! It’s also as if time slows down and you can just drift and relax.

Tell us about the most memorable dive you have ever done?
I don’t have that many dives logged yet, but the most memorable so far was a dive at a new reef in False Bay with Indigo Scuba earlier this year. The conditions were just perfect – great viz, good temperature and lots to see. I liked it down there so much, that I almost ran out of air!

 If you could be a marine animal, what would you be?
A whale. They seem very chilled and they’re big enough that very few creatures would mess with them.

What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you whilst scuba diving?
Like I say, I haven’t been diving that long to build up so many good “stories” but I did find our pool session during training for Open Water quite funny – we were zig-zagging up and down with no buoyancy whatsoever!

If you could choose anyone to be your dive buddy, who would it be?
I’m actually still looking for a good dive buddy, but I’d say anyone who loves nature and who is relaxed and “in control” of themselves. Don’t want my buddy panicking on me down there!

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of doing a scuba diving course?
Do it! Don’t even think about it! It will change your life and the way you view the world forever.

 If you could send just one important message to all scuba divers across the world, what would it be?
Remember to breathe!

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