A clear blue sky reflected in the Pacific Ocean as our boa t cut away from Puerto Quepos, Costa Rica, on a warm spring day. "Just one thing," I asked Katherine Evans, my dive trainer, as we were about to cast into the water. "Do I really have to fall in backward off the boat? Can't I just climb down the ladder?"

 


 

She laughed and said, yes, I could ease into the sea instead, but that it's simpler to let the weight of the tank pull you into the ocean.

 

I had snorkeled the beautiful, crystal blue waters of the Florida Keys and Bahamas many times and always marveled at the amazingly colorful reefs and creatures that roam the Star Trek-worthy world under the sea. But I was a bit nervous about venturing down too deep to access the surface and fresh air.

 

I had wanted to scuba – as well as skydive – as a child, but then I lost all desire to risk my life when my children were born. Now that they're grown, I'm beginning to feel adventurous again.

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