Daydream of the week: Diving in Costa Rica

Melissa Christensen diving in Costa Rica

Melissa and I were so happy to be out at sea!

It’s been a month since I very excitedly did my first dive with Diving Safaris in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. But we had so much fun, and I had so many extra photos, that I couldn’t resist doing a Daydream of the Week on the experience. We were all so happy to be out on that boat! After a dream girls’ weekend at an amazing out-of-the-way Costa Rica resort, Melissa and I were beyond bubbly to be getting our first taste of diving, through the one-day DSD course. My friend Bobbi Jo had been trying to get me out there for three years (I’m embarrassed to say), and now that I’ve had a taste, I am on such a high that I can’t wait to get down there again and do my full certification. Obviously, it took me three years to buck up and try it, so I knew it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to learn all that you need to know to safely breathe underwater and be let loose in the ocean. But after my first try, I have even MORE respect for it.

And now I know I can do it!

Lisa, the pro, and newbies Melissa and I — dry and innocent before we had any idea what we were getting into. Lisa was a champ for patiently waiting for us to do our lessons in the pool. Apparently we took way more time than the average beginners!

Lisa Farrell Melissa Christensen Abby Tegnelia

Melissa and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.



Our new friend Paul, who took a refresher DSD course even though he was SCUBA-certified. He had no idea he was going to be matched up with us crazy joke-cracking, control freak girls!

Diving in Costa Rica

Paul was so patient with us.



Our instructor, Mark… had ZERO idea what to do with us! But in the end, he got me underwater. A saint!

Mark Diving Safaris

It took some time, but I think we grew on our instructor, Mark.

After our lesson in the pool, we learned more hand signals on the boat, including this one for sea turtle. Mark and I ended up not only finding one — but getting to swim behind it for quite some time. It was absolutely beautiful.

Turtle Hand Signal diving in Costa Rica

My favorite hand signal: sea turtle!

The pros: Diving Safaris owner Bobbi Jo and my friend Lisa, who owns North Pacific Tours with her husband, Mau, who happened to have been her dive master many years ago. We were in good hands!

Bobbi Jo Barton Diving Safaris

The pros: Bobbi Jo and Lisa

Before Melissa or I tried anything, we watched everyone else go in. How Lisa made flipping backwards out of a boat wearing enormous gear, a weird wetsuit, ridiculous mask and flippers graceful, I will never know.

North Pacific Tours Lisa

Showing us how it’s done!

I did it! Embarrassing action shot of me going in, thanks to Dani, our patient captain. They tell me I did the backwards flip, but it all happened so fast I don’t remember!

Diving in Costa Rica

And I’m in!

I still can’t believe I did it!

I was a guest of Diving Safaris, but all opinions are my own.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. Sooooo proud of you girlfriend!

  2. That last photo freaks me out!

  3. That looks so fun! I’ve always wanted to do a dive. It looks like you had a really amazing time. You need some underwater pictures next!

  4. I am so happy Mark was your guide! He is a wonderful guy and a good friend of mine! He also plays in some GREAT bands around Coco! So jealous!

  5. I love to dive! The first time back in always makes my heart flutter, but after a few days of diving, it is like being back in the saddle! I am at about 150 dives and my last one was in the Dead Sea near Aquaba, Jordan. I love the Caribbean and Mexico, and ABC islands near Venezuela. So, keep on diving, it does get easier!

  6. Oh now you’ll get addicted and be the female Jacques Cousteau – Sweet!

  7. Way to go!!! It is so inspiring to see people face their fears and just TRY! 🙂

  8. I love your fear of adventure sports. You’re adorable!

  9. Abby, I do dive a lot but last photo freak me out as well. I always jump from the back of the boat.

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