30 Scuba Diving

Nicola gives her thoughts on scuba diving and talks about her first experience with it.

Todd: Nicola, you were talking to us the other day that you went diving in Australia?

Nicola: That's right I did.

Todd: Wow, so what was it like?

Nicola: Well, actually it was quite scary to be honest. When I first started I did an introductory course which was just maybe like two days. And so they just sent you out with all of the equipment, put you in the sea and guided you, but then when I did the real course we started in the swimming pool which was fine and it was all great fun. Although, there were two men on my course who completely freaked out and had to leave.

Todd: Oh..

Nicola: Yeah, so that was fine but then they took us out to sea which was a bit different. Yeah, they made us set up our own equipment, I mean they still checked us and everything so we didn't die but we had to put on our own equipment. We had a diving buddy who I was with and I was with my friend Graham, who I was traveling with anyway and we went down into the sea. We went down maybe fifteen meters. And they always say like 'Don't Panic' just keep breathing normally and everything. But I did kind of panic a bit.

Todd: Oh, no!

Nicola: So then I rose to the surface really quickly which you know, you're not supposed to do in diving. So I went up really quickly. Luckily we weren't deep enough to do any damage but my diving buddy Graham was having a great time down there looking at shipwrecks and didn't even notice that I was missing.

Todd: What a terrible guy.

Nicola: Yeah, I know. so, then...

Todd: Wow! Did they fail him? I hope he failed the course?

Nicola: No, he passed. He paid enough money. He passed. But it meant that I couldn't go diving for the rest of the day cause I had gone down quite deep so that was a shame, but..

Todd: That's terrible. But you didn't hurt yourself, you didn't come up too fast?

Nicola: No, I was fine in the end but it was a shame because that was the end of my diving day. But we had a few more days to do it.

Todd: So now you are comfortable diving. You don't freak out anymore?

Nicola: I don't freak out anymore but I couldn't go diving now on my own because it has been so long. Yeah.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

went diving or introductory course

We went diving after an introductory course, and it was scary.

To 'go diving' is to get into the water in scuba gear and swim down deep to look at the fish and coral.  An 'introductory course' is a class that teaches you the basics of how to do something.  Notice the following:

  1. They went diving in Mexico last year.
  2. Did you take an introductory French course?


They kept telling us not to panic, but I did kind of panic a bit.

When a person 'panics' he gets very nervous, emotional or scared about a situation.  Many times when people are panicking they are not thinking in a rational way.  Notice the following:

  1. Try not to panic.  How can we fix this?
  2. She always panics if she is late going somewhere.

freaked out

There were two men on my course who freaked out and had to leave.

To 'freak out' about something is to get really nervous or stressed about it to the point where you are not able to react normally.  Notice the following:

  1. Do you freak out before a big exam?
  2. She really freaked out when she lost her job.

rose to the surface or supposed to

I rose to the surface quickly, which you're not supposed to do in diving.

To 'rise to the surface' of the water is to move from down deep in the water to the top where the water meets the air.  If you are 'supposed to' do something it is something that people expect you to do.  In the example, 'not supposed to' can be replaced with 'shouldn't.'  Notice the following:

  1. The ball rose to the surface in the water.
  2. She isn't supposed to chat on the internet.


It was a shame that I couldn't go diving anymore for the rest of the day.

Used in this way, 'is a shame' means something similar to bad luck or that it was sad that I couldn't do something. Notice the following:

  1. What a shame that you broke your arm during the summer.
  2. It was a shame you had to work and couldn't come to the airport.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
go diving • introductory • panicked
freak out • the surface • supposed to • shame
  1. It's a that you were too sick to go to the concert.
  2. I enrolled in an sewing class for the fall.
  3. Did you see that turtle rise to ?
  4. Are you going to in Hawaii?
  5. You are arrive at exactly 5 o'clock.
  6. He really when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant.
  7. She is going to when she hears that.