The very first feeling you experience while SCUBA diving is the absolute freedom. You are freed from gravity. You feel weightless as if you are flying. After the first few SCUBA dives, you realize that you resemble more of an astronaut who is exploring a whole new planet. You gently touch the rocks, sit on the bottom of the ocean and play with the sand. Just look at yourself; you could be one of those fearless National Geographic explorers!
At the same time, I personally felt amazed by the mix of scientific breakthrough, understanding of human physiology and practical use of modern technology that enables my SCUBA unit to operate so efficiently in order to allow me to breathe normally under water.
I must admit that it was a surprise for me to realize that for the very first time in my life I didn’t care for things like how I looked in the stretchy wetsuit or if my hair got tangled in the process of wearing the mask. When I am SCUBA diving, nothing else matters. I experience the ultimate calmness, where everything moves slowly. The divers paddle slowly. My heart beat slows down. All my problems and worries are left behind, on dry land.
A sense of deep relaxation takes over because I only focus on my breathing, I hear nothing else and thus nothing comes in the way of me enjoying the beautiful images I see before me. It is the perfect opportunity to feel amazed by the truly beautiful natural environment and feel closer to nature. When I am diving, I become one with the sea. Fishes come closer to take a curious look at me. I realize that I am an alien in their world! And as such, I must be respectful.
Another feeling I experience while SCUBA diving, is the feeling of bonding with my diving buddy. It may seem strange to non-divers, since there is no speaking or otherwise interacting between the two diving buddies underwater, outside the hand signals, yet a close bond is shared. That of two individuals having each other’s back and being responsible for each other’s well-being. You trust your diving buddy that he or she will intervene to save you if things go wrong and you are expected to do the same for him or her. Thus, a bond of trust, mutual respect and gratitude is created and strengthen with every new dive.
Between admiring the beauty of the underworld and furthering my diving experience, I can’t help secretly reliving that joyful childhood memory of mine of desperately wanting to be a mermaid! Of course I wouldn’t want to be one of the ugly and vicious mermaids of the Greek mythology, but Disney’s red-haired brave little mermaid, Ariel. I think this constitutes underwater day-dreaming!
I must also admit that I feel proud of myself for managing to overcome one of my biggest fears and go ahead with the SCUBA diving lessons. Despite my initial hesitation, I have achieved to break the limits of my human existence on dry land and start having a parallel life underwater. One that is equally exciting and fulfilling.
Lastly, I can’t help feeling a little sad for all the people who may love the sea and enjoy a good swim, but yet have never entered this truly magnificent world which is the SCUBA diving. I used to be one of them. But not any more.
I am now a member of a very special community.
I am a SCUBA diver.