For many people, the beach is where they go to beat the summer heat. Personally, I’m more interested in what’s beyond the beach to avoid the torrential heat. Covered head to toe in a 7mm neoprene wetsuit, moving in an awkward motion with about 30 pounds of weight dragged across my back, I head out to the ocean. Because I’m a scuba diver. And I hope that through this article, I may be able to convince you to become one too. The world could always do with a few more around us. So listen to me as I walk you through a bit of what scuba diving is, why you should dive, and some things to keep in mind when you’re ready to dive on your own.
Scuba diving suit? I barely know her!
“Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus”, or in simple terms “scuba”, is a means by which people are able to breathe underwater and interact in person with the otherwise untouchable underwater world. Throughout history, we as a species have been fascinated by the oceans and what lies beneath the seas. It has inspired countless myths and stories like the Kraken, or the lost city of Atlantis. Well, scuba diving allows us to answer this question for ourselves and see it with our own eyes.
Although modern scuba diving only really came into existence before and after World War 2attempts to break through the gap between the surface and the things that dwell beneath us go all the way back to Ancient Greece. Through technological advances such as the O-ring and SCUBA and various organizations such as BSAC and PADI emerging to train new divers and develop a standard of safety protocols, diving has become more accessible to the general public as a recreational activity.
A place to be with your thoughts and focus on the world around you…
Although scuba diving is also done beyond recreational purposes, most people will take up scuba diving for this reason, as it is quite relaxing despite the pressure on top of you while doing it. With everything to see underwater, and no possibility of distractions like phones or even other people’s conversations, you have a place to be with your thoughts and focus on the world around you. . And with all the emphasis on calm, deep breathing while diving, I wonder why I would choose something like yoga.
A world under and above the sea
Now that you know more about the “what” about diving, I want to tell you the “why” you should try it. As with any hobby, your reasons for taking up and loving something are incredibly varied and depend on your individual preferences. I certainly don’t see anyone with thalassophobia to hear me explain why diving is amazing, if they even clicked on this article. But for those of you able to take the plunge, let me tell you about it.
Life takes on strange shapes and forms underwater
First, and perhaps most obviously, is the wildlife. In all its strange and fantastic forms. While land plants and animals certainly have their charm, there’s something curious about the weird and weird shapes aquatic life will take. Look no further than a seahorse and you’ll know what I mean. Life takes on strange shapes and forms underwater and experiencing it all for yourself with your own eyes is something you will never forget.
Along with seeing unforgettable things, you’ll also end up meeting people and making friends that will last you a lifetime. Whenever you dive, you never just dive with people you don’t share anything in common with, you dive with people who share your love of the ocean and want to experience it. In diving, confidence is important, but comes quickly to those who earn it. By working together to keep your fellow divers safe, you earn that trust, and maybe some lifelong friends along the way.
Now that you have friends to dive with, you might all be feeling a little tired of the same place you could be doing with your eyes closed if it wasn’t so boring. Well, you only have anywhere that has a sufficiently large coastline or body of water available to you. Granted, some places make better dive sites than others, but whether it’s tropical, temperate, or even cold waters, there’s almost certainly a prime dive site just waiting to be discovered. be immersed. Before you know it, you’ll have a yearly tradition of going overseas for a week to a place you’ve never been before, just to do a few dives there. See more of the world below and above the sea.
Keep calm and breathe
Now that you know a little about what you’re missing, I hope you’re ready to take the plunge. However, before I do, I want to pass on a few things to remember when it comes to taking your first dive. When diving, preparation is essential and I hope these tips will do just that for you.
The first is to never hold your breath. When you are new to scuba diving, the feeling of breathing underwater can be a bit uncomfortable and your instincts may tell you to hold your breath and only breathe through your mouthpiece when you need air. When diving you should always remember to breathe as you normally would, as holding your breath at deeper intervals is incredibly dangerous and there is no point in creating problems that could be entirely avoided.
The second is to stay calm. Despite the meditative aspects of scuba diving, it is also possible to become stressed underwater and panic. Panic is one of any diver’s worst enemies and can quickly endanger not only yourself, but also other divers. If you start feeling stressed or even panicking about anything, just let your dive leader know, take a few deep breaths, and if necessary, break off the dive. Safety is one of the top priorities on every dive and must be adhered to.
Finally, don’t forget to enjoy. You dive for fun, and if you can’t, then what’s the point really. When done well, there are very few inherent risks in diving, especially when you are just starting out. It’s important that you find the things you love about diving that give you a reason to come back once you’ve taken the plunge. Whether it’s wildlife, companions, locations, or something entirely yours, keep it and it will most certainly reward you later. So why not try scuba diving and make a splash as you begin your descent into the deep blue sea?
Cover image: Mael Balland
Editor: Alexa Ciociu