Sensations of Diving

Have you ever tried to explain how diving feels to prospective students? Or excite and spur newly certified divers to take additional courses or get out there and dive? Here are a few prose pictures, call them “teaching points” if you want, that you can use to share the wonder and the experiences of scuba diving!

Aboard the Dive Boat: the shoulder to shoulder of a small boat, the expanse of a 45-foot cruiser, the social buzz of a live-aboard, your relationship with your buddy, the group’s camaraderie, assembling your gear in tight spaces, the ride to the dive site with the wind and spray and sun in your face, gathering for the briefing, sandwiches and fruit and water bottles between dives, gazing at the horizon and seagulls flying, dolphins at the bow, Caribbean music as the boat rocks and rolls on the return to port.

The Crew: the sound of another language and the chatter of the dive crew, the smiles, the hand reaching to help you come on board, the dive briefing and markings on the eraser board, help putting on your gear, the crew’s reassuring air of calm confidence, their leadership under the waves, the tap-tap of the divemaster pointing out a new creature, the cheery “How was your dive?” as you climb aboard, the sense of satisfaction as you gaze at the sunset, the quiet captain piloting the boat as you make toward shore.

Your Equipment: a new wetsuit and its snug fit, the feeling of your gear’s hardiness and a sense of its fragility, the heft of your cylinder, looking into your gear bag to find your dive light, the feel of your scuba unit on your back and snapping the buckles of your BC, the quiet as you put on your hood, looking out from inside your mask, your weightlessness under the waves, monitoring your pressure gauge, the opening of your safety sausage as it points toward the surface.

The Sea: your entry into the water, splashing waves at the surface, the cool feel of the sea and the taste of salt, the up and down of your body in the waves, looking below as you hover at the surface, the sound of your breath underwater, your first sighting of fish, the colors of the coral  illuminated by your light, the flow of a drift dive, the ballooning sound of your BC as you adjust buoyancy, the feeling of depth, looking up as you ascend and watching your bubbles rise, breaking the surface at the end of your dive.

The Creatures: the magical sighting of some new creature, the curious grouper, the octopus skittering across the ocean floor, the moray

opening and closing its mouth as it extends out of its home, the invasive but beautiful lionfish, the sea turtle gliding past, the whale shark swimming majestically by, the starfish adorning the bottom, the blenny peeking out of its tiny home, the colorful parrotfish, the gentle waving of a sea fan, the pulsing of a jellyfish, the joy of a dolphin sighting, the memories on the boat ride back to shore.