An absolutely fantastic dive center and amazing experience.
My husband James and I booked a holiday to Turkey with friends. We had already decided that we would book some scuba diving as this is something I have always wanted to try. I had never been diving before whereas James had tried it once many years ago in Kos. Staff at our hotel, Garden of Sun, pointed us in the direction of Okenos and said we would get a reasonably priced try dive there and a friendly service.
We went down there along with out friend Jon, who had also never dived before. When we arrived we met Sobey and Sinan the instructors, They were both very welcoming and quickly showed us lots of pictures that had been taken on dives in the area. We were told that there had been a recent storm and the reef was unsetttled but there were still plenty of fish about.
I was expecting to be ripped off and thought they would encourage us to spend as much as possible. But they advised us we just book the one dive to see if we like it and not waste money committing to any more just yet. I found this very honest and took an instant liking to them both. The following morning the three of us returned for out first dive. When we arrived we were offered tea and coffee and made to feel welcome.
We were then kitted up with the necessary equipment. We were told what to expect and what would happen and both Sinan and Sobey were happy to answer any questions that we wanted to ask. I felt at ease and very relaxed by the whole procedure even though I was about to go underwater for the first time and breath from a tank! We were not rushed into anything and instead took it at a comfortable pace.
The dive itself was brilliant. I was taken out with James first so we had an instructor with each of us at all times. Jon was then taken out separately. The water was warm and clear even though it was October the end of season and the outside temperatures had dropped considerably from the month previous. We were taken out to the reef where there were plenty of fish and a variety of species. There was never a time that there wasn't something to look at. The reef is alive with activity. I particularly enjoyed spending time in one area looking at all it has to offer including the sea urchins and inquisitive fish that follow you about. We were given a bread bag and spent time feeding the fish. Sinan took excellent photos of us both and these will be a keepsake for life.
As soon as the dive was over we both decided that we wanted to go again. After Jon went for his dive all three of us booked for a second. Due to it being quieter season time we were lucky enough to be taken out again the same day. This time we spent more time around the reef and were taught some basic skills like mask clearing and how to cope with water in your mouth. We were then given the chance in shallower water to swim independently. This was incredible. However at no time do you feel like you're being held onto or chaperoned. The instructors are always there but do not intrude or ruin the experience.
When we surfaced the second time and were excitedly talking about the fish that we had seen how we were feeling it was great to see that Sobey and Sinan felt the same way. Even though this is something they do and see nearly everyday they still get enthusiastic and you can see they are passionate about their jobs.
Two dives was not enough and two days later we were back for our third dive! Once again it was brilliant and probably the best dive. We saw so much and it felt very busy. I was given the chance to explore with Sobey and look into the reef life. It is hard to explain the feeling that diving gives but you just forget about everything in your head and have a total feeling of escapism. It is another world completely under the water and one that I am grateful to have had a glimpse at. I will never feel the same about looking at fish in an aquarium again, In their natural environment it's a lot more rewarding and quite breath taking.
Our friend Jon booked to do the course which meant he studied completed some more diving and an exam then ended up leaving Turkey with an SSI licence.
This dive center is not overpriced. It is hard to put a price on an experience that will stay with you forever. By the end of out week we were sad to leave but felt that we had not only found a fantastic new hobby but also made some friends who I would happily visit and dive with again. I hope to return in the future with a licence that will allow us to go out together and explore the beautiful waters of Turkey,
If you want to try something that will stay with you forever but you want a more personal touch then this is definitely the place for it
Thanks Sinan and Sobey for making our holiday the best we've ever had
Kind Regards James and Trina Allen
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