I think that one of the biggest challenges of scuba diving is trying to explain the beauty of it to your non-diver friends. No words seem to be enough to fully reflect the wonderful feelings and experiences a diver has in any single dive. And believe me when I say that I’ve tried extensively!
I believe that almost all divers are faced with the same typical questions from their non-diver friends, such as the following:
What kind of rare fish or corals do you see?
How deep underwater do you go?
How many dive sites did you visit so far?
Did you ever dive with sharks?
All questions seem to reveal one thing; that non-divers cannot comprehend what is so great about scuba diving. In essence, what they are asking is, if a diver didn’t see any special or fancy fish, or go to exceptional depths, what made the dive worth it?
The answer is that scuba diving itself is amazing. No extra sauce or spices necessary! 🙂
Don’t get us wrong, we love to accumulate new diving experiences. And if it happens that we get to discover a new dive site or encounter any sort of rare marine life, then that particular dive just got even more special for us. But that is just a welcomed side-effect of scuba diving and not the purpose of every single dive or of our beloved hobby altogether.
A diver who really loves diving, may dive hundreds of times in the same dive site and still enjoy each dive. A diver who really loves diving, may not encounter a single new fish or any other marine life form, and still enjoy the dive. A diver who really loves diving, doesn’t need to go to great depth to have fun. A diver who really loves diving, may find it amusing to dive even in a swimming pool!
It is not easy to explain this to non-divers and especially to the people who have never tried scuba diving before, let alone to those who are not particularly fond of any kind of water sport.
Sometimes I catch myself feeling frustrated during a dive that my non-diver friends could never see that particular beautiful coral I am admiring. Or experience the magical feeling of temporarily being a part of the underwater world. And although pictures are known to be a thousand words, or better two thousand words in the case of underwater ones, they still fail to capture the full beauty of the underwater scenery like the human eye can. Even the most expensive underwater cameras cannot depict the true colours of the reefs and enable a non-diver to share the amazement the divers feel while visiting the underwater world.
Plus, as my diver mentor puts it, re underwater photos and videos, “non-divers try to see with their eyes, what scuba divers see with their hearts.” (There mght be a small poet inside my dive mentor! 🙂 )
So how can you explain all these to a non-diver?
Well, let’s just say that, as far as scuba diving is concerned, the right answer is “you just had to be there”! 😉 – xoxo