Introduction to Diving
A Different World
The underwater explorer, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacque Cousteau, says, "It's a whole different world down there — filled with beauty, mystery, excitement, and adventure."
What's Down There
This fascinating underwater world is filled with brilliant colors and vivid patterns – an ' inner space ' of texture and motion. Drifting gently through this wonderland, you will experience firsthand the weightlessness and thrill of a ' space-walk ' just as if you were in outer space.
It is a water world filled with fabulous gardens of coral reefs, sea fans, sponges and other marine life that is more than a match for any botanical garden. These brightly colored and intricate communities are like vast cities under the sea.
Coral, Caves, and Walls
Just as on land, sanctuary and shelter is provided in naturally formed caves, caverns and grottos. Vertical walls rise from the depths and form undersea cliffs that would challenge the best of climbers; but you will soar around these ramparts like a seabird on the wing.
Caves are a haven for small fish hiding from predators, each formation providing a new and mysterious labyrinth for exploration. Magnificent corals surprise and amaze in their infinite variety and delicacy. Stag horn and brain corals grow large, while others are so tiny they seem lost in the crevices.
It's raining fish, hallelujah!
Angels and parrotfish, groupers and grunts – this world is filled with such a variety of fish and other marine life. The vivid colors and exquisite patterns are amazing – the variety of lifestyles, intriguing. This is home to the very largest of creatures and the tiniest organisms that exist on this planet. The variations in color, shape and size of the different species are staggering!
Friendly inhabitants greet you with the enthusiasm of a puppy or follow you around, showing as much fascination with you as you have of them. It's sometimes hard to tell who's watching who!
Encounters of another kind
One of the most awe-inspiring underwater experiences is to come face to face with a large fish or animal in its natural habitat. You will be surprised at the intelligence and gentleness of these marvelous creatures. Seeing a ray up close 'fly' through the water, or being subjected to 'teasing' by a playful sea-lion, are encounters that will not be quickly forgotten.
What else is there to do?
Besides exploring the reef and identifying the types of coral, or adding to your list of species of fish sighted, there is drift diving – catching a current and riding it through the rifts and canyons in the terrain; there is wall diving – floating down the face of a coral or rock cliff as effortlessly as sailing on a hang-glider. It is here, in the nooks and crannies of the wall face, that you will see the smaller creatures – timid fish, tiny shrimp, and baby octopus.
Shipwrecks offer one of the most mysterious of undersea excursions. Thousands of ships have sunk over the past 500 years, and many have become overgrown with a mantle of coral and marine life, becoming a living reef and an attraction for fish and marine animals. Wreck diving can be a particularly satisfying experience – like floating through a haunted house as would a ghost, and 'flying' along the promenade deck where passengers once walked. Then, there's the chance of finding treasure!
The thought of discovering undersea treasure attracts many divers. An underwater metal detector will help. But, finds of gold doubloons and sea-chests of pirate booty are rare. More mundane, but equally exhilarating, is bottle collecting. Antique bottles can be found in a variety of locations – around old piers, ancient harbors and on shipwrecks.
Archeology has an underwater component, too. Many ancient cities succumbed to the sea and much of the history buried under water is still to be discovered.
Find your personal Interest
Water world offers something for everyone but it's up to you to find your own personal underwater interest. — photography, exploration, fish-watching, wreck-diving or whatever. That special passion lies within you and once you find it, it will become a lifetime pursuit.