A spend a lot of my working life taking people diving for the very first time, and I feel really sorry for them. Why I hear you ask is that? Well, I once had a normal life and a regular job, and then I learnt to scuba dive. Now I live far away from “home” and could not work in the “real” world if I wanted to. I don´t think I could be this happy without diving as much as I do either.
Diving is a very addictive sport to do. Once you learn to dive, all your vacations are going to be taken somewhere you can dive, and there is always somewhere new to put on your bucket list. Let me try and explain why.
The underwater world is quiet. The moment you drop below the surface of the water the worries and concerns of modern life fade away. You are in a foreign world, where strange creatures live and where the rules of physics that govern my everyday existence no longer apply. Gravity disappears. For the duration of the dive I am an explorer who can navigate an environment few humans are privileged to experience.
In a way, divers are like astronauts – they can escape their terrestrial existence! Unlike space travel, the training to safely explore the underwater environment takes only days. The relative safety and ease of scuba diving makes it a great way for many people to escape their busy lives. Underwater, you cannot be reached on your cell phone, the latest Facebook updates are of no concern to me and Twitter is silenced. Life goes on pause and you are simply alone with the water.
To dive safely, you must focus on your immediate surroundings and actions. A diver must manage his dive gear and monitor his depth, time, and air supply. Unusual aquatic life and the bizarre environment consume your attention though.
Someone told me once that all divers are trying to escape from something. Maybe that is true. Whatever drives us to voyage into the underwater world, whether it is a need for escape or a simple penchant for exploration and adventure, diving provides us a welcome break from our everyday lives. We emerge from the water refreshed, and ready to tackle our obligations on land from a new perspective. It is for me, just like doing meditation, but I can´t sit still long enough for that!
I had a guest jump on our boat yesterday with all of the worries of the world etched on his face. He owned a busy business back in Canada and chatted about growth plans and the effect the economy was having on his business all the way to the dive site. After diving, I did not hear a single reference to his company, only talk of the fish he saw and his diving techniques that he wants to improve. His face had relaxed and he was a different, happier man. He needed to dive and I don´t think anything else could do this to or for him.