I started scuba diving about 30 years ago and still love it. The feeling of being under water with no gravity is a feeling that you just have to experience. Over the years, I have been fortunate to witness many strange and beautiful things while pursuing this passion. Of course there have also been a few strange people along the way as well. Scuba divers seem to be a diverse group of people that somehow bond over diving experiences.
The stories that I can tell about other divers are endless.
I have seen so many exquisite coral formations and sea life that I never knew existed. As a new diver, I focused on the big, obvious things: the enormous coral walls, sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, green eels, grouper, porpoises, large schools of fish……the list goes on. After I had seen all of these many times over, I started to focus on the less obvious. I looked for tiny worms that are no bigger than a pin, seahorses that are an inch long, spotted eels hiding in the coral, sleeping octopi, sea spiders, jelly fish the size of a nickel….The creations that abound are amazing. I see new things every trip down.
When hopping on a boat, it is customary to be introduced to the other divers that you will be diving with. It seems that immediately, the other divers are sizing you up, trying to determine your level of expertise. They may even brag about a previous dive. If you see underwater cameras, be wary! These “photographers” tend to have more money than sense. I have been bumped and kicked by them often. They also like to try to agitate the sea life (and the other divers) so they can get good pictures….not a great idea if it’s a large barracuda! And there are occasionally the smokers and drinkers that can’t seem to go without their vices for a short afternoon of diving.
One of the funniest groups of divers I have ever seen were the naked divers. Yes, you read that right….naked! I was descending on a dive one time when I heard a boat stop above me. I watched as divers started dropping into the water. I kept staring because I knew something was different…..as they got closer, my eyes adjusted and I realized that they had no swimsuits on! It was mostly men, dangling “lures”, if you know what I mean. Of course I immediately got the attention of the others in our group to make sure they were witnessing what I was. I didn’t want to be the only one who saw them. Nobody would have believed me if they hadn’t seen it for themselves. It’s something we still laugh about today.
The most amazing experience I have ever had diving was at a dive site called Punta Sur in Cozumel, Mexico. This is a deep dive. Conditions have to be just right and you must be an experienced diver. After descending to 130 feet, you enter a cave. Inside this cave in nothing but a small mound/altar and growing out of it is a sponge coral in the perfect shape of a cross. It is the only thing to see in this cave. I believe that God has placed it there for us.
So if you get the opportunity to scuba dive someday, I highly recommend it. You never know what kind of divine or weird surprises you’re in for!
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