Last updated on August 12, 2021
Solitude. Tranquility. Utter peacefulness. That’s what it’s like underwater. You become a part of a world outside of human society—we can go down there for a visit, but it’s not ours. A magic exists under the water’s surface that we can never own or fully be part of, and snorkeling only offers us a slice of the experience. It’s only when we can peacefully relax into a spot and watch the underwater world unfold that we even begin to understand what it’s like to for the sea creatures that make up these biodiverse marine ecosystems.
I learned scuba diving the summer before leaving on my travels; my first stop was Australia and I was bound and determined to be comfortable underwater before hitting what I considered the mac-daddy of all sites, the Great Barrier Reef. Fast-forward a couple of years and Honduras’ reefs beckoned, as did my Advanced Divers training; the funny thing about diving for me is that I don’t actually like being on the water.
I love being in the water, but put me on a boat cruising across the water and I can be found standing very close to the rail, fighting serious motion sickness. I joke to friends that I’ve never met a boat I couldn’t puke on—gross, but accurate. And yet, the pull of the ocean is strong enough to make it all worthwhile. Not just the ocean, but the entire world hidden to us from the surface. We can peer into the water from above and only glimpse the incredibly colorful world alive and thriving in the deep blue sea. Diving, even more than snorkeling, allows us to float along as silent observers to an ecosystem that needs no human input to go about its business.
All the motion sickness is worth it once I shimmy into my wet-suit, shoulder my tank and regulator, and slip into the ocean.
The video is quite long, the dive-master on my dive off the shores of Utila, Honduras took the video and caught some beautiful shots of a turtle in the first minute or so (turtle-action at 1.15 minutes and go full screen for the full HD experience). I heart turtles massively. Like seriously love meeting a turtle on a dive. It makes or breaks a dive for me in many cases. I think it’s because they bridge the gap so beautifully between underwater and surface life. You can catch a peep of them sipping air at the water’s surface, but the graceful swimming underwater—that’s what I really love.
Diving allows one the chance to perhaps just a small fraction of the underwater secrets we are rarely privy to seeing. Deep water represents the ultimate unknown. There will never be a scenario where we grow gills and suddenly gain the ability to call home to this massive portion of the earth’s surface. Instead, we are interlopers, less graceful and less equipped than a mere turtle to survive here, but yet able to enjoy the view.