What is diving all about? (part 1)
Now, that's an interesting one. Those of you who dive, know the feeling and enjoy it as much as I do probably have their own good reasons, as well as the most common ones.
For the others, the ones who don't know what this is all about, I'll try to explain. Mind you, this is not a generic thing, this is why I personally love it. Might be different from my buddies.
The fish, the discovery, the wonders.
Oceans cover 70% of the planet. I've never seen a tiger or a lion before, and I live on land most of the time. Just thinking about all the stuff I haven't seen yet underwater is making my head spin. There is so much to it. So many incredible or amazing or unsettling animals, corals, little stuff making their lives down there.
Did you know that sharks do have sex? That a whale carries her baby for one year? That there are more than 6.000 types of crabs?
Believe me, the beauty of it is sometimes breathtaking.
The first time I saw a shark, I almost died of excitement (and it was only a tiny reef shark, really. The day I got a 2 meters tiger shark was a whole new level of excitement, mixed with a hint of "Crap, this thing could just have me as an appetizer, really").
The first time I saw a manta ray, I was close to tears of joy.
The first time I saw a mola-mola, I danced underwater and completely forgot the water was damn cold.
The day I swam with a bunch of dolphins, I almost broke my leg from jumping too fast from the boat to get in the water (a broken leg would have been useful to swim to the dolphins, I suppose).
The first dive I ever did on a wreck, I felt like I was discovering the Titanic. It still does that very often, to be honest. I love wrecks.
On all of these occasions, I spent the rest of the day with a smile on my face that was the size of a banana. The kind of smile that makes people ask you "Did you just spent a hot night with Johnny Depp or something?". Nah, I've just met a tiger shark.
Do you know how much I remember about these things, how striking all of them were? I can exactly tell you where and when, that's how much. Even tell you who I was diving with. With great effort I might even remember the color of the bikini I was wearing.
First shark ever : Perenthian Islands, Malaysia, 2004, with Agnès
First mola-mola : Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia, 2011 with Debi and Chris
Dolphins: Hamata, Egypt, 2009, with the Paris dive gang.
I won't give you the complete list not to bore you to death. But I swear to you, I just wrote this and didn't dig into my logbooks for any of it.
This is how important all these encounters have been. And I still get amazed, every single time. I still enjoy so much seeing all this stuff, I am still excited as a kid on Christmas day when I meet something I have never met before down there, I still feel like I am Indiana Jones when I dive a wreck for the first time.
Next time, I'll tell you about how much my body enjoys diving. Yes, you are in for a treat.