Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why I Scuba Dive

Inner Space. Underwater realm. The Lady. No mattter what name the ocean is given, it is an environment to be explored, enjoyed, but most of all...........respected.

It gives life and it takes it away. It is not an environment filled with stinging, biting, man-eating creatures as for years it was thought to be. It is a world plentiful with an abundant amount of diverse wildlife seeking food, mates and reproduction. Reef fish and animals pretty much ignore us or show mild curiosity, unlike terrestrial animals who avoid humans almost entirely.

Go to a pet store and look at all the fish tanks, especially the salt-water tanks. See all the hues of fish like colors of a rainbow. Or look through picture books about the oceans. Then close your eyes and imagine yourself swimming in a giant aquarium filled with brightly colored coral and fish. Feel the sense of floating as being neutrally buoyant lets you hover over a reef. The only sound that you hear in the silence is that of your own breathing. You are alone with your thoughts and comforted by the relaxing feeling that has taken over your body.
This is what it feels like to dive.

I am an adventurous person of sorts, which a touch of reckless abandon. I love to explore new things and after I became a certified scuba diver I found that there are different sensations underwater than topside and these different looks, sounds and feels are what make diving so special to me. Stroking the silky smooth belly of a passing stingray; trying to see how close I can get to a shark to snap a photo; ........these are ways I like to interact with my underwater surroundings. Putting aside the dry world that I come from and becoming part of this wet world, if only for a short time. Even the boat rides to and from the dive sites are a part of the experience for me: the time spent assembling my dive and camera equipment; joking with the other divers; the quiet time after the dives reflecting on what I have just seen and making notes in my journal to reread on a cold winter's day.

Diving is like when I sit and look at a beautiful sunset. I realize that there is truly someone bigger than man who has created this undersea beauty. It is like a carefully orchestrated symphony. All the fish are the notes and have a purpose in the whole of the piece.