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Odysseys

Connor Davidge is a fashion entrepreneur and close friend of professional Stand Up Paddler Slater Trout. Sperry sent Connor and Slater on an Odyssey to dive deep under the sea in Key West to stay in an underwater hotel.

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I was restless to get off the plane on the first day. We weren’t really sure what to expect but we did know that good things were to come and that we’d be scuba diving; something that I’ve always been intrigued by. The past 24 hours had involved cramming to finish my online diving certification; with scuba diving, your life hinges on remembering those specific details.

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We began our scuba dive training in the pool. When I first went under, I began to panic. Although I was breathing, the air was so strange to me that it didn’t feel like it. As we continued to practice different dive training skills, I couldn’t help but feel I was getting away with something illegal. I wondered what it was like for the first person trying this! Scuba diving was something that Slater and I had talked about before, and now that we were finally here.

One thing is true, we will be wanting more after the end of our Odyssey. Whilst many people are content with going for a snorkel, we’ve always wanted to go into the depths. Tomorrow will be that opportunity, as we are taking our first two ocean dives.

We did it! We scuba dived! The wind was blowing hard, the seas were rocking the boat, but we knew where we were headed. Once we got to the bottom of the ocean, we were doing flips, underwater upside-down high fives, and exploring the limits of deep sea dance moves. We glided around, seeing sting rays, fish that had no problem coming within 6 inches of your face, and even a shark. Apparently the shark was one that likes to bite, but Slater and I were challenging each other to see who could get closer. With the knowledge that we now have, I think we’ll slow down a little next time!

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The day we found out that we were going to be scuba diving in Florida Keys, I had a conversation with Slater about whether or not there there were any underwater hotels. It wasn’t until we were on our Odyssey that I found out we were going to be staying in our very own underwater lodge! However, the morning we were due to descend to the lodge, Slater woke up with a pounding headache and a cold. One of the most important things in Scuba Diving is being able to equalize – even a minor cold can inhibit that ability. On our first dive, Slater was moving at an extremely slow pace trying to get to the bottom. I could tell right then that his ears must have been extremely painful. Those ears became more agitated all day and restricted him from ever getting deep enough to go to the underwater lodge.

I knew that I had to take advantage of the opportunity, so I went on alone. When I arrived in the chamber, I became acquainted with my private underwater lodge. What fascinated me the most were the circular windows that gave the feeling of being in a submarine, and allowed me to stare out at the fish that went by. I was half wishing that I would see a shark. I couldn’t quite believe I was spending the night underwater!

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Apparently you sleep better underwater and now I can attest to that. I’m not sure if it’s the higher CO2 levels, or the lower amount of light but I slept amazingly. When I came up, I felt like I’d been locked inside a chamber for a week. The sun appeared particularly bright, and the sky looked like I was reading a children’s novel. It felt good to return to land!

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I feel like I have completed a challenge, exploring the depths of the sea. This Odyssey made me come alive, opening my eyes to the underwater world. Through this experience, I have gained a greater perspective on the world that we live in, the vastness of it. There is so much that remains to be seen… and remains to be known. I am unsure of what the future will bring, but I can say that without a doubt, I want more.

Written by Connor Davidge. Follow Connor on Instagram @connordavidge

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