Both my love and I fell in love with the deeps almost fifteen years ago. Before that snorkeling satisfied our undersea fascination, but we both wanted to get closer to the critters and the coral, so we both got 'certified'. We can lay claim to PADI Advanced Open Water Certificates and we try to make good use of the training once a year with a dedicated dive trip. We are exclusively warm water divers; no Great Lakes, Georgian Bay or St. Lawrence River destinations; no dry suits, multiple layers of neoprene, nor head shrinking hoods; just a 3mm shorty wetsuit, warm waters and 100 foot visibility.
There's nothing to compare with that giant stride off the back of a gently bobbing dive boat into clear, beautiful blue, WARM, salt water. I give the divemaster on the boat the okay sign and with my best buddy, exchange the thumbs down signal. I press the deflator button on my BCD (buoyancy compensator device) and wait for the magic to begin. It's such a marvellous feeling as I slowly slip beneath the surface. The burdens of the world, the stresses of my life lift from my shoulders before dissolving completely. Despite carrying over sixty pounds of gear and lead and wearing the most awkward and ungainly outfit, I enjoy a sense of weightlessness, a wonderful freedom that is beyond description.
My eyes open wide to take in an entirely different world, one of liquid and colour, form and texture, activity and muted sound. Even my own bubbly breathing, which at first is almost deafening, soon fades into the hushed soundscape. I am most happy to drop down to about fifty feet and just hang out, just watch, and take pictures of course!
Chromis and hamlets flit about the coral, banded butterfly fish - always in pairs - cruise in and around the coral canals; under the ledges lobster and maybe even a green moray hide out, surgeon and doctor fish make their rounds and trunkfish, umpteen parrotfish, wrasse, grouper, snapper and so many more, abound. Turtles glide by, rays grace the scene and occasionally a shark patrols out in the deep blue. Large mauve fan coral waves a message of leisure while other corals (brain, star, staghorn, elkhorn, finger, fire) stand their ground.
It's a wonderful world!
And I think it's time to book another dive trip!