bad fin riding

A Lesson in Fin Riding Marine Giants

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Have you ever imagined what it would be like to ride a wild animal? Some people dream of riding tigers, or whales, or rhinos. But that’s how they should stay; just dreams. It is one thing to ride a trained animal such as an elephant, however it is another thing entirely to ride on a wild animal, especially fin riding an endangered species.

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Why Fin riding is a bad idea

In the dive industry fin riding is highly frowned upon. If you don’t  know what I mean by ‘fin riding’ it consists of taking hold of the animals fin or grabbing onto it in some way and letting it take you for a ride. The problem with this is that it will stress the animal out and is very dangerous, not only for the animal but for the people involved. In addition to this most large marine animals including the Whale shark, Gigantic Manta ray and many species of whale are endangered. Harming endangered animals is illegal and punishable by law! So don’t touch please.

You may be wondering about the dolphin shows in professional aquariums, the trainers there are often seen riding the animals during performances. These animals are trained for this yes, but it’s still not right. These animals are subjected to horrible conditions. The size of the ocean could never compare to the size of a tank and the training is often very cruel.

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No one wants that kinda stress

Imagine that your walking along, minding your own business, and someone literally just jumps up onto your back. You would almost certainly be thinking something along the lines of ‘what the phoque,’ and you would almost definitely be trying to get them off of you. I know that I would be freaking out a bit. I wouldn’t be sure if this person was trying to hurt me, rob me, or was just messing around. I’d be confused and stressing; animals are no different. An animal is not going to understand that you are just messing around and it’s going to be scared and upset and feel stress. It is not fair to any animal to subject them to this, especially when we are visiting them in their own environment.

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Your Next Move

So here we are, we’ve got a random person hanging on you what are you going to do now? Obviously, try and get rid of them. How do you do that? Well you can wiggle and shake, or you could try reaching back and grabbing or hitting them. Or maybe, you fall backwards on top of them. Wild animals have these same options, and trust me, they are much more inclined and able to hurt you than another human being. A whale, for example, can weigh 1000’s of tons. Imagine getting fin or tail slapped by that much force? Animal riding is dangerous! You do not know how they are going to react, and that animal has every right to attack and protect itself from anyone who would try something as stupid as fin riding.

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It is important to note, that especially in the case of the giant Manta ray (pictured above) fin riding is detrimental to the animal. Mantas skin have a mucosy coating that helps them swim and protects them from bacteria. This coating is removed and damaged on contact and puts the animal at risk of infection. Due to this fact, you should never touch a Manta unless absolutely necessary.

It’s all fun Until…

Let’s go back to where we were standing there minding our own business. So here we are and some dumb bloke decides to jump on you, but what he doesn’t know is that you’ve got a bad leg from a boat accident a few years back. Instead of a funny joke you are on the floor in pain, possibly with severe injury. Many animals get injured in the wild from propellers, other animals, fishermen, ecetera. We don’t know if grabbing on to this animal is going to hurt them. They may have weak cartilage or simply their biological anatomy is not made to drag around a 200 pound diver by the fin. Even if you mean well, Fin riding can seriously injure the animal, and I don’t believe that is anyone’s intention.

Here are a couple more reasons fin riding is dangerous:

  1. The animal may suddenly dive and take you deep. This can damage your ears and/or you may drown.
  2. They may try to jump/breach out of the water, taking you with them before they land on top of you.
  3. You risk getting bitten if riding an animal such as toothed sharks.
  4. If the animal spooks it may swim very rapidly trying to escape, taking you far from where you were. This could result in you becoming lost at sea.

There are So Many Videos and Pictures

Sadly, yeah. There are tons of people doing this and they are ignorant. Maybe they are good people who don’t know any better, or maybe they are pompous jerks who don’t give two sits about anyone but themselves. Either way, fin riding is wrong. In most cases, people are told not to touch or harass the aquatic life in the dive briefings by their professionals, however not everyone listens. Yes, fin riding seems fun and all but it isn’t worth the risk to you or the animal.

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Please be Responsible

If you are out there and you are diving, or swimming, or snorkeling or whatever! Please be respectful of the animals around you. No one wants to hurt these beautiful creatures nor does anyone want to see you get hurt by them. Below are a few simple tips that will allow you to safely enjoy the presence of these animals.

  • Stay calm: of course you are going to be excited, I am too swimming next to a graceful giant, but  if you splash and make a lot of noise it is going to get scared and swim away. Instead take your time relax breath and slowly get closer.
  • If on a boat, don’t use a typical entry; it tends to scare them off. Instead quietly glide or slip into the water.
  • Keep a Safe Distance: Animals like whale sharks, Mantas, and whales are huge animals. Make sure that you always stay far enough away that you won’t get hit by a fin or tail, even by accident. If the animal has a baby stay even further away. Mothers are protective of young and may become aggressive.
  • If you are diving, make sure to maintain good buoyancy control! Often, larger creatures are near the surface where it is most difficult to control your buoyancy.
  • Don’ t Chase: As much as we all wish we could stay with these big beauties for the rest of our lives (or at least I would) don’t chase them if they are trying to get away. Chasing them will only make them hurry away faster and trust me… You aren’t going to catch them.

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The ocean is my biggest passion. As a SCUBA instructor I have a unique opportunity to show people exactly how precious the ocean is.  I aim to inspire others to love and respect the sea through education and diving.

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Let Others Know

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Logbook Entry #2 White Tip Reef Sharks Everywhere!

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A few days ago my dear friend Bobbie Jo called me up to see if I could help her out with a trip to the Catalinas. My immediate reaction was ‘hell yeah!’ Not only is this lovely lady on of my favorite dive buddies for 11 years, but the Catalinas are gorgeous! Little did I know there would be sharks everywhere!

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Here in Guanacaste Costa Rica we have a grouping of islands called the Catalinas, or the Cats, for short. These islands host a great number of cleaning stations and so are a great place to see the gigantic Manta ray. It is also home to a lot of white tip reef sharks.

While out there we dove 3 tanks at 3 different sites, and each dive was wonderful. On the 1hr boat ride out we ran into a couple if whales who sang to us, and a pair of mating turtles!

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The wall

The wall is one of the two most popular dive sites in the Cats and also our first dive site. One if the main features of this dive site is that it contains many channels where the sharks like to hang out. There is one channel in particular that we don’t often get to enter due to conditions. However we were able to go in today!

During our dive we came across many schools of fish and over 8 individual sharks. Like I said, sharks everywhere. This included a baby white tip of about 2ft. He’s super cute and one of my favorite shark pictures I’ve ever taken is of this baby shark!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”1044,1043,1042″ gallery_captions=”there where shark everywhere and here’s one of them,Swimming through the big channel in the wall,the reef life here in Catalinas is so pretty” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ fullwidth=”on” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”right” max_width=”75%” module_alignment=”center”]

 

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Arcoiris

Also known as rainbow in English is a dive site loved by many local guides. The reason why is simple: sharks!!  Sharks everywhere! In Arcoiris we came around the corner into the main shark bed and came upon around 12 white tips! The sharks calmly swam around waiting for us to move on so they could settle back down into their beds. To their dismay we stuck around for a few extra minutes, and even doubled back later, to enjoy their beauty.  I don’t think they minded too much but I’m sure they are glad when we got out of their space.

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Near the end of the dive a large school of grunts came to play with us for a few minutes before we needed to surface. Grunts are always a fun treat as they will allow some people to swim in their schools. Then, after surfacing, we ate fresh made sandwiches put together by Bobbie Jo!

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Button Hole

For some reason every time we introduce this dive site people think we call it butt hole. It usually gives us a giggle. On this dive we didn’t see any sharks but we did find, lobsters an eagle ray and a large turtle. If i had to guess the turtle was a black pacific due to its size and coloring.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”1037,1036,1035″ gallery_captions=”these guys can be so mesmerizing!,A fellow sirena looking for life under rocks,unfortunately the turtle wasn’t interested in getting to close, but I still got a quik snap” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ fullwidth=”on” background_layout=”dark” max_width=”75%” module_alignment=”center”]

 

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Many colorful fish danced about us the whole dive giving splashes of yellows, blues, and purples to the already captivating surroundings. Then, just before it was time to surface one of our divers spotted a pile of lead dive weights. Lead is a bad pollutant when left in the ocean and is also useful for diving so we were taking it all up! When we get to the surface we counted about 20lbs of weights, woo whoo! Talk about a score! It made for the cherry on top of an already great day!

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Luxury Diving with Sharks Everywhere

Okay, so I can’t guarantee there will be sharks everywhere but I can almost make sure you definitely see one. If you are interested in diving with Bobbie Jo and I, we can make that happen! I offer luxury dive tours through Bobbie Jo’s company Sirena’s Diving. If you book through me it costs you no extra, but does help me out! Plus, you get to dive with me as your personal guide!

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5 Dive Entry methods for boat diving and when to use them

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology. [supsystic-social-sharing id=’2′]

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Being a SCUBA diver means that you need to know how to adapt and go with the flow. You never know what nature or your dive shop has in store for you. Sometimes it’s a calm peaceful sea and nice big boat that can facilitate your preferred entry style. Other times you’re wading into big waves, battling current, or dealing with small boats. So how do you still pull it all  off like a seasoned diver? Knowing and using the right dive entry method.

First things First

Before you go jumping into the water make sure you’re ready. Just because you’ve put your kit on and you want to get in the water doesn’t mean that you’re set to go. To avoid looking like newbie diver, and be perceived as that diver that ‘has definitely done this a lot’ then don’t forget to go through this checklist.

The List

  • Check, check ,check: Remember that horrendous acronym from you open water course for the buddy check (BWRAF)? Use it! Whether you use it by yourself or with a buddy make sure you go through the steps. Here’s a quick reminder in case you forgot; BCD, Weights, Releases, Air, Final okay.
  • Check your hoses: Ensure all of your hoses and gauges are tucked away and secured. Your extra regulator needs to be secured with the hose under your right arm with a clip or D-ring, but still easily accessible in an emergency. Your pressure gauge or computer on the other hand needs to be tucked into your waist buckle or secured with a clip under your left arm. Dragging hoses reduce streamlining and get get caught on fragile reefs or damaged banging against rocks.
  • Accessories: If you have an goodies like cameras, lights, safety buoys, or anything else make sure they are attached to you using clips, re-tractors, magnets, shoelaces or I don’t care what, but make sure that they aren’t going anywhere. In my career as guide and instructor I’ve seen people lose knives, cameras, compasses, dive computers! You name it. Dive gear is expensive and if you lose it, it becomes ocean pollution so make sure its secure.
  • Don’t Forget your Fins: This may be more of a personal reminder, but even as a dive professional you forget things sometimes. I’m particularly bad for leaving my fins on the boat. As much as I wish my legs would transform into a tail it never works. In other words, don’t feel bad if you forget something its usually not that big a deal, no one’s perfect all the time.

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Time to Jump

The most important part of choosing a proper dive entry as assessing the conditions. Each entry has different benefits and draw backs so you need to make sure that the dive entry makes sense. Not only that, but some boats can’t facilitate all kinds of entries which is why it’s good to know more than one or two.

Always remember before you jump to make sure of two very important thing. First, that there is air in you BCD (unless your guide tells you to do a negative entry). Second, don’t land on your dive buddy! always make sure the landing strip is clear.

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The Giant Stride

This dive entry style is one of the more popular styles and one you may have seen before. The giant stride can be used in any kind of conditions as long as the water is deep (10ft/3m +) and can be done from any kind of ledge that you can stand on (edge of a boat, dock, pool etc.). When done correctly your head will stay mostly out of the water and you will end in a vertical position.

To preform the giant stride put your toes right on the edge of the platform. Next, place one hand over your weight belt buckle, this will ensure that it does come undone when you hit the water. Take your other hand and use it to secure your regulator and mask. You can do this by using your fingers to hold the mask and the palm or your hand to push the reg in your mouth.

Once everything is held in place look straight ahead and take a leisurely stroll of the side of the boat. Of course make the sure that first step is a giant stride (ha ha). You should hit the water mid stride as your legs are nice and far apart, at this point bring your feet together. the force of the kick, along with the air in your BCD, will keep your head at the surface. Though be aware your head may dip under for just a second or two.

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The Back Roll

Much like the giant stride, the back roll can be used an any conditions suitable to recreational diving. What makes it different is that this technique is suitable for deep and shallow water. You will find that in some places you will enter the water over shallow coral reefs. Where a giant stride would likely cause damage to the reefs and yourself, the back roll is a better alternative. To do this dive entry you will need a ledge that you can sit on, such as the side of a boat. In many small boats the back roll entry is the only geared entry available.

Have you ever heard that dive joke why do divers roll backwards out of the boat? Well the back roll entry is where that joke came from. With this entry method you sit on the side of the boat fully geared, with one hand securing that weight belt buckle and the other keeping your regulator  and mask in place. You then simple fall backwards into the water and into your tank. When you hit the water, sit up. This way you avoid doing an underwater back flip. Have you figured out the answer to the joke yet? Well, if you rolled forwards you’d still be in the boat.

The In Water Dive Entry

You can’t enter the water if you’re already it. Which is why the name in water isn’t talk about how you get in the water, rather, it’s referring to donning your gear. With this dive entry method how you get in the water is up to you. Whether you want to do the toe dip and slide in, the cannon ball, or a triple standing back flip that’s up to you. Just don’t hurt yourself. Grab hold and put on your gear after getting in. Don’t forget to double check that your hoses and accessories are still secured. You can either have someone hand you the equipment or put it in the water yourself before you jump. Especially if you use and integrated weight system, Make sure that the gear is fully inflated before putting it in the water.

There are a lot of variations in this dive entry method. People who have difficulty putting gear on in the boat for health reasons are the primary users of this method. These variations have to do with when you put on your fins, mask, and belt. I always recommend entering the water with fins and mask, this way you can see and swim more effectively. As for the weight belt, You can have someone hand it to you in the water when you are ready for it, or put it on before you get in. If you decide on the later, make sure that you maintain contact with your BCD so as not to sink.

This entry method should not be used in rough waters or strong currents as this could make it dangerous.

The Trust Fall

This is by far is my favorite entry method of all. The first time you use this entry method it may be a little bit scary but I swear you will love it. You can use this method in deep or shallow water, in any kind of conditions. All it requires is a ledge that you can stand on. As with the giant stride,  secure your belt/gauge, mask and regulator but this time stand on the edge with your back to the water. When the way is clear and you are ready, fall backwards onto your tank. The ocean will catch you I promise! Oh and by the way, you will look like a total badass when you do this one.

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The Controlled Seated Entry

Controlled seated entry is a dive entry used primarily by people who cannot stand up in SCUBA gear for health related reasons, and where back roll is not an option. This entry method is suitable for most conditions but can be hazardous in high swell or waves. I do not recommend this entry to people who do not need to use it, or have poor upper body strength or limitations. The reason for this being that you may hurt yourself and/or potentially damage the boat. I also highly suggest practicing this entry off a dock or pool side before attempting it off a boat.

To begin, sit on the edge of the boat with your legs hanging over the edge and get into your gear. Next, turn and place both hands on the platform next to you. You will then push up off the platform and twist and the same time. You should land in the water in a vertical position facing the boat.

Relax Just Do It

When you want to go to it, and you aren’t sure which method entry to use just ask! If you have questions about anything always ask. A good guide will always do their best to get you in the water nice and easy. Trust me, even if you feel like a nuisance for needing someone to hand you this or that, don’t! It really isn’t a problem.

Do you have a favorite entry method that isn’t listed? Thoughts or comments? Tell me about them in the comments!

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology. [supsystic-social-sharing id=’2′] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text (main post content)” module_class=”dd-post-content” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ text_font=”Lato||||” text_font_size=”15″ text_text_color=”#04493e” text_line_height=”1.4em” border_style=”solid”]

One of the most important and most useful skills in SCUBA diving is neutral buoyancy. It can also be the most difficult to overcome, and often takes dives and dives of practice. However, once you get the hang of it, diving becomes so much more enjoyable.

Mastering neutral buoyancy also comes with a few extra bonuses!

  • Air consumpotion goes down
  • You can get closer to wildlife
  • Focus on what you love about scuba diving
  • You can minimize your impact on the marine environment

Oh, the struggle

When becoming neutrally buoyant is a fight the whole dive becomes a challenge. Not only that, but it can become stressful and even cause anxiety. You start to worry about what other divers think of you, you can’t enjoy the little stuff because you’re rolling all over the bottom. People are giving you exasperated looks because you are harming the environment they are trying to enjoy. Nobody wants to feel like this. That’s why it’s important to practice, because no matter how horrible your buoyancy is, you can get better!

The mind is powerful

Very powerful. Studies show that in many sports, visualization techniques aid in improving skills. Whether you want to watch videos of people practicing buoyancy or visualize yourself being a neutral buoyancy master, both can help you achieve your goals.

As you visualize pay attention to things like breathing techniques (watch those bubbles!), body position, and swimming techniques. Each of these will help guide you to improvement and eventually mastery.

Take a minute for yourself

Having patience with yourself and staying calm are the most important steps while tackling neutral buoyancy. So take a long, slow, deep breath and try to relax, especially if you are starting to get frustrated. If you take your time and think critically to figure out what’s going on you can typically sort yourself out. This is especially important as you begin the dive and are setting up your buoyancy.

 

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Just breathe

One if the biggest mistakes I see in scuba is breathing techniques. People just forget to breathe out, or try to take in less air to reduce air consumption. When you took your open water or scuba diver course your instructor should have taught you to just breathe normally. This is true, however there is a breathing method that can help your buoyancy, air consumption, and how relaxed you are in the water.

I like to refer to this method as the zen method (check out the link for other methods to practice breath control). It is quite simple, just breath in slowly and count as you do; I like to count to five. Once you have a nice comfortable breath start to exhale. The key to this technique is in the release if breath, try to let the air out nice and slow. You can count as do so, try to aim for twice as long as your breath in (i.e. breath in for 5 and out for 10). If you can breath out longer that you breathed in that’s even better. These long slow easy breaths should help so stay calm and in control, which will aid you buoyancy tremendously.

Where are your weights?

Have you ever had a dive where you kept rolling to one side, or you just couldn’t get into a horizontal position? Then before you know it you are fighting and you loose control of your buoyancy or are simply just uncomfortable the while dive? Well luckily there’s an easy answer for the problem. Lead distribution. When you are checking over your gear take a look at your weight belt/pockets. Try to make sure that your weights are symmetrical in both amount and positioning. This should stop any tilting or leaning to one side. If you still lean try adding one or two pounds the opposite side. This leaning can be caused by many things including dive accessories or even increased muscle mass on one side of the body.

Next take a look at your trim weights. If you find it difficult to hold a horizontal position try moving about 1/4 of your total weight into the trim pockets on your tank. If you find you are top heavy, and your fins are always to high and you get stuck in a head down position reduce tank trim or add ankle weights. By evening yourself out like this you will find it easier to swim and maintain a steady depth while diving.

Once you have the positioning and balancing of your lead under control try to do buoyancy checks before and after the dive. Diving over weighted can be beneficial until you get better at buoyancy, however being too overweighted can be problematic, tiring, and makes you more prone to floating up and away.

Don’t forget to check

To do a buoyancy check hold a normal breath at the surface with an empty BCD. Remember no cheating! This means no kicking or sculling. You should float just below the surface and sink slowly as you let out air. Staying above the surface means you need more weight and sinking like a rock means you have way too much.

 

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Position, position, position

While in the water you should try your best to stay in a horizontal swimming position. This makes swimming and observing easier and more relaxed. Its also a good idea to keep your arms tucked in. People often don’t realize how much their arms weigh. They can actually throw you off balance just as much as lead will. Try playing with it a bit next time you dive. If for any reason you want or need to be in a vertical position remember to stop kicking! Otherwise you will find yourself swimming for the surface, or if overweighted, kicking up sand and damaging the bottom. In terms of position in the water these are the most important when it comes to buoyancy.

It may seem like a lot…

but it is really just 4 things:

  • Weights
  • Visualize
  • Breathing
  • Body position

It may seem like lots at first but try focusing on one or two things at a time. Once you master one portion add in another. Eventually all of these things will come easily and naturally, you just need to practice!

If you feel as though you would like to improve but want a personal training session ask your local shop about the Peak Performance Buoyancy Course. This course is two dives and generally costs around 160$, not much more than a typical day of diving depending on where you are. As an instructor it is one of my favourite courses to teach as it includes lots of fun and interesting underwater exercises!

 

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Describe SCUBA Diving

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“Describe SCUBA Diving, what is it like?” Is a question that non divers often ask me… Its one of those tricky questions to answer  because every diver will describe SCUBA diving differently. I cannot tell  you what you will experience if you decide to try it, but I will do my best to help you understand what I feel.

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First is the predive excitement

To me diving starts when I wake up at 6am and I remember ‘I am going diving today!‘ At first there is excitement, that giddy flutter of happiness as your heart smiles. followed by my brains incessant and logical worries, such as do I have everything I need? Is the weather okay?‘ In response I begin to methodically check and go over the lists in my head, and once I’ve made sure that the weather is clear, I have my camera and my dive computer, and the rest of my gear, I can never get to the beach fast enough.

Next is the Heavy Part

Then I’m lifting heavy tanks and duffel bags of gear telling myself, ‘this is worth it, I’m almost in the water, just a couple tanks more‘. Then I am climbing into the boat and setting up my gear,  still hoping I haven’t forgotten anything, making sure all of my gadgets are fastened tightly to my vest, double and triple checking everything. Next I’m putting on the gear. You cannot describe SCUBA diving without mentioning gearing up. Here I am, strapping a 30 pound tank of compressed air to my back, sticking lead in my pockets, slipping some fins on my feet and jumping in the ocean.

Yet, it is the moment that I slip that tank onto my back that I stop worrying about everything else in the world. The weight of it seems to ground me. Then I’m jumping into the water and I’m so excited that I can hardly wait to deflate my vest. Once everyone is ready to go, we start our descent.

Finally, I’m in the water

My head goes under  and the silence takes over. The only noises down here are subtle. It is just the sound of my own breathing, sand skittering against the rocks, and the chorus nearly silent chorus of fishes. Yet even these sounds fade into the background; all the commotion of the world above just disappears. I feel calm and peaceful as I slowly sink down to the bottom. I no longer feel the weight of my gear, and the aches and pains in my muscles and joints dissipate as I reach the bottom.

Next, I take a few breaths to make sure  I am  neutrally buoyant. I feel how my breath lifts me up and my body sinking as I exhale once more. There is such delight in that weightlessness. Even though 1-4 atmospheres of extra pressure are being exerted on my body I don’t feel it. In fact I feel light as a feather.

Then My Heart Swells like the ocean

Finally, I begin to look around, I can see colorful fish in reds, yellows blues, and silver swimming about in groups. Little puffer fish nestle into the rocks taking a mid day nap. Everything moves slowly, calmly, there is no rush to do anything. Down here I can’t see as far, only the distance the visibility allows. This does not make me nervous instead it makes me more curious, ‘what’s beyond that rock? Is there a reef just beyond that bed of sand?‘ By nature I love adventure and SCUBA diving satiates that craving to explore and discover. You never know what strange creature you are going to find, and everywhere you look there are all kinds of nooks and crannies where some little ocean treasure could be hiding.

There’s all the little stuff

I remember the first time I found a nudibranch (a teeny tiny colorful sea slug). I felt so proud that I had spotted something so tiny in an ocean so big, and to this day I still feel a sense of immense accomplishment when I find small or well camouflaged creatures. Or when you are able to approach a stingray for the first time, and he doesn’t swim away. When you can get so close that you can see the reflections in his eyes. There is a sense of knowing, in the way they look at you. They seem to understand you are there only to observe and admire.

And then the big stuff

Even more indescribable is the feeling of seeing your first extra large marine animal. whether it be a manta, a whale, or a giant shark, there is no way to explain how amazing they are to behold. One thing is for sure, they have a unique own energy around them. It is as if you can feel them nearby, and once you actually see them there is this intense majesty in the way they move through the water. In these moments time slows to a crawl and you can only gape in awe.

But it all happens too fast.

Then, before you know it the dive is over. It’s the last thing you want to do right now, but you need to return to the surface; to your own world. It has been almost an hour yet the whole thing seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye. I Climb up onto the boat and the weight of my gear returns, reminding me that I am exploring a world that, biologically I shouldn’t be able to endure. It makes the whole experience seem even more surreal.

Then there’s that amazing sense of connection and community

Once my dive companions make it on the boat we begin excitedly chattering on about all of the amazing things we saw and experienced in that short hour below the surface. You feel a connection, not just to the people around you but the earth and ocean themselves.  It is a craving that, to me, is insatiable. Despite this need, after diving I always feel whole and happy and content… Not even those after dive munchies could change that.

Eventually I’m home and every night as I lie in bed, I’m hoping that tomorrow I get to dive again.

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