72% of the planet is water, why limit yourself to 28%?
Well, that question intrigued me. Why do the majority of us live our lives without ever venturing into the unknown, into the ocean?
A lot of people would tell you that they are scared of the ocean. At least that’s what I found when researching for a scuba diving retreat I was organising in the summer of 2018. Perhaps that’s because they don’t know what it’s like beneath the surface, all they see is a vast body of water. But the reality is so much more.
Scuba diving is a relaxing sport. It’s all about floating weightless through the water and observing the aquatic life below. You get to see things that most people only ever watch on Blue Planet and experience something so unnatural and counter intuitive as breathing underwater.
At first, it may seem scary and you may feel anxious. But that’s normal considering you are about to do something completely new and venture outside of your comfort zone. However, once you spend a few minutes floating on the surface with your buddy, then begin the descent, all of a sudden you enter into a peaceful and relaxed, tranquil state.
It is incredibly calming beneath the surface. The feeling of weightlessness, the pressure of the ocean, the quietness, the gentle rocking from a current, the vibrant colours, the clarity through the mask. It is a very mindful place.
That is assuming you are diving in gorgeous clear water, which is how I personally like to dive. What I call “Paradise Diving”. That’s the diving I bring guests when they join us on a dive retreat.
My name is Paul and I am a PADI Rescue diver. I’ve been diving for 9 years and this recreational hobby turned passion and side hustle has taken me all around the globe.
Like many, I was a bit apprehensive before my first dive. The fear of the unknown, committing my trust to equipment and being worried in case I got eaten by shark. You know, the usual neuroses.
But once I surfaced from my first diving experience I was in a state of euphoria. I was hooked.
That feeling of accomplishing something so new and being in such a variable state outside of my norm was almost addictive. Like how an adrenaline junkie feels pushing themselves to the limit, I felt this in my diving. I just wanted to go down again and swim about with the fish and coral.
Fast forward 9 years and I still feel this after each dive. Once I pop up and float on the surface I give it the big one, ‘Yeeooo, such a dive!’ – this is usually my first reaction. Then high five my buddies.
The after dive scenario is also one of the reasons I love this hobby. Relaxing on the boat absorbing some vitamin D with my new pals, maybe we have a cold beer and a bit of fruit, a bottle of water and some music. Regularly you will find me stretching or moving through some slow yoga flows. It’s important to stretch and relax the mind. This is how you can maximize your diving experience and duration underwater.
Scuba diving is a lifestyle. Even if you only do it a few times. It’s about immersing yourself, diving in head first and absorbing the moment. You will see something new, whether it be fish, a coral formation, something left behind by humans or the interaction amongst the aquatic life.
The scuba lifestyle continues when you log your dive together with your buddy. Logging a dive means noting down how deep you went and for how long as well as other details. It’s about keeping record of the things you saw and the little bits of magic that made the dive unique. We usually log dives over a beer, cocktail or fresh juice post dive, it just makes the moment more special.
There isn’t really much to it. Getting the kit on, falling into the water and diving with new pals.
But what it can give you is immense. Before I began diving I didn’t know the effect we as humans had on the ocean and the sea life that occupy there. Now I have a full understanding of how damaging our waste, polluting and actions can be on this habitat.
Being in a position now where I can bring people into this lifestyle and help them experience scuba diving also gives me a platform to bring awareness to our negative impact on the ocean. I’m not an eco warrior and I’m not trying to force you to be one either, I’m simply bringing to your attention basic facts such as ‘single use plastics’ end up in the ocean and kill our animals. I’m only suggesting that you consider your impact as a human.
On our trips we reward those who find some litter at a dive site and bring it back to dispose of properly. We support various conservation projects and we share great stories of those who are making a positive impact.
If we can provide you with a fantastic experience through our trip then our goal is accomplished, but if we can educate you with some simple facts and actionable steps then we achieved something greater.
After all, 72% of earth is the ocean, we should strive to protect it.
To learn more about scuba Diving retreats, email Paul at email@example.com or visit /Scubajam1 on Facebook.
By Paul Kennedy : facebook.com/scubajam1