Recreational Diving is All About Having Fun!

Sunday, June 26, 2011 10:35 | Filled in Dive Training, Dive Travel, NC diving

Alan, Brad and Glenn Happy to Be Diving!

Alan, Brad and Glenn Happy to Be Diving!

I dive because I enjoy many different aspects of the sport. The ability to swim and breathe underwater is a thrill for many people and the first time someone does it often changes their life. I enjoy looking for different life under the waves and taking their picture. This ranges from the big sharks and turtles to the small nudibranchs and arrow crabs. Occasionally, I get the opportunity to bring back an artifact from a shipwreck or a fossil from one of the limestone ledges. Ultimately, the goal is to enjoy yourself when you are diving.  That, of course, is the purpose of a recreational sport.


 

Each individual has their own reason for taking up the sport of scuba diving.  Many do it to be able to see the colorful sea life.  They dive in picturesque places like Saba, Cozumel, Thailand or some other exotic vacation destination.  Many vacations are actually planned around a diving itinerary.  Divers invest in digital cameras to capture their experiences.  Underwater photography is a subclass of this hobby marrying scuba diving with photography.  There are unique challenges involving light, visibility and positioning the subject when taking pictures underwater.  It can take years to master both the scuba and photography skills to be able to consistently take a great underwater photo.  One of these days, I will reach that level of proficiency.

 

Sand Tiger Shark at the Hyde

Sand Tiger Shark at the Hyde

Diving with big animals such as sharks, sea turtles, porpoises and even whale sharks are lifelong goals for many divers.  I love being able to dive with the sand tiger sharks with regularity.  They never cease to excite me when I am diving.  Diving with whale sharks is popular now and I would like to experience that one of these days as well.  Divers get so excited about diving with these various big animals that they will fly halfway around the world and spend thousands of dollars just for the one-time experience.

 

Other scuba divers do it for the challenge.  Often they are cave divers or wreck divers.  They like to explore the unknown.  These divers thrive on the training and practice to hone the skills necessary to properly explore the different parts of the system.  Many wreck divers are in search of artifacts to display as trophies.  These usually consist of brass or porcelain  items recovered from a wreck.  The ultimate find is usually the ship’s bell which identifies and signifies the heart of the wreck.

 

Cave divers enjoy the challenge of exploring deeper and further into a cave system.  There are many technical challenges when cave diving, the least of which, is the fact that one cannot just surface when there is a problem underwater.  There are a different set of skills necessary when cave diving.  Understanding staged decompression diving, extreme deep diving and navigating in dark constricting tunnels where a wrong kick of the fin can stir up the silt reducing visibility to zero are just a few of the dangers that cave divers must understand and train for.  For them, the enjoyment is learning how to achieve their goal and the thrill of discovering new systems.

 

Nassau Grouper Avoids the Dinner Table

Nassau Grouper Avoids the Dinner Table

Some divers like to spearfish and collect something for the dinner table.  I certainly like to grab a lobster once in a while when the opportunity presents itself.  It is neat to see my friends come up with large Hogfish, grouper, flounder and other tasty surprises.  Personally, I support the idea that you eat what you catch.  Sport fishing is only sustainable when it is done in a responsible manner.  Follow regulations and don’t take more than you and your friends can use.  The helps ensure that the fish and the fun will be around for years to come.

 

Some people have even created a sport within this sport.  The Wreck Racing League was developed to race around underwater on scooters.  Freedivers, the unadorned brethren of the scuba divers, have their own racing league, the F3F.  It is cool to see people use this sport, not unto itself, but as a foundation to build and create other opportunities to have fun.

 

Diver Injured in Hit and Run?

Diver Injured in Hit and Run?

There are always ways to make scuba diving interesting.  At Fantasy Lake, we entertained ourselves chasing small fish around the quarry and setting up funny pictures using the sunken objects as props.  In my previous post, there is a picture of a diver jamming a basketball in the basket.  If you look closely, you will see two finger holes in the basketball.  It is actually a bowling ball!

 

Planking on the Hyde

Planking on the Hyde

I have been to the Hyde and Markham wrecks a lot recently and decided to have a little fun on one of the more recent trips.  I had been reading about a recent fad on the Internet called ‘planking‘.  This is a weird game where people try to find odd places to lie down stiff as a board (thus the term, ‘planking’).  On one of the dives, I had my son and his wife do this on the wrecks.  Of course, we got it slightly wrong since ones arms and hands should be at their sides, but it was fun to do and funny to see.  I might have to continue these planking pictures and create a series.

 

Each individual has their own reasons for being a scuba diver.  Their introduction into this sport may be for different reasons, but ultimately, all the reasons converge to the same concept of having fun.  It is important to remind oneself every now and then why we scuba dive.  I always tell everyone that asks me that I am always having fun when I am diving and I am always telling the truth.

 

-Frank

 

 

 

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