Scuba Diving

The sport of scuba diving has always excited me. When I was younger I would always watch any program that involved the oceans and diving. One day, as I was reading the paper, I saw an advertisement for scuba lessons at the local YMCA. And so I registered for the class. This was one of the smartest things I've ever done because it's a whole different world under water. The feeling of being completely free in a foreign environment is like that of the astronauts in outer space. You feel completely weightless and can do whatever you want without having other people bothering you.

When you are under water, you can't hear anything except the sounds of the air running from the tank to the regulator, the sound of a passing motorboat, and the sound of your own motion reflecting off some object below. Unfortunately, around New England your visibility is limited to about ten feet. If you were to travel to the Caribbean, however, the visibility would be up to fifty feet. Still, what you can see in ten feet is absolutely beautiful. For example, you may come upon a vertical wall covered with seaweed which is being moved back and forth by the currents. As the seaweed moves away from the rock, you can see the phosphorescence of the animals attached to the rock. Another example is the coral reefs of the Caribbean. All the different glowing colors are said to be breathtaking.

A sport diver can expand his diving ability by taking specialty courses. These courses include photography, cave diving, wreck diving, or even ice diving. Each one of these different types of diving can be both enjoyable and rewarding. When diving on an old boat, if you were to find a treasure chest filled with diamonds, pearls, and rubies, you could keep them. This has been profitable for me since I've found some old bottles which will be worth some money in a few years. Ice diving is the type of diving I want to get into next. From what I've read, I understand that the visibility is better under the ice. And the air bubbles from your exhaust form mercury-like balls against the ice. This sport, however, is ten times more dangerous than regular diving because if you were to lose the safety line which connected you to the hole where you entered, you couldn't just come to the surface and expect to find the hole. For this reason, a safety diver is on standby at all times to come to the aid of a lost diver.

Diving is one of the nicest experiences in life. If you have ever thought of taking lessons, I would encourage you to go ahead. Until you do, you won't know what you're missing.

— by Mark Zajac