Today, despite a powerful storm, I completed my 600th dive (thank you dear buddy, Jacqui Engel).
Six hundred dives is not such a big deal if you are a warm water diver. However, the vast majority of my dives were in the cold waters of Northern Vancouver Island and, it does feel like a big deal.
I only started diving when I was 36. Now, at age 47, I have been diving less than 11 years and have thereby averaged a dive per week over this time. It’s the equivalent of about 19 days underwater.
I am not usually boastful (I think) but it seems really significant to acknowledge this milestone and to try to share why diving is so important to me.
In an attempt not to be too earnest though, I try to express “Why Dive?” by way of some bad poetry.
Constricted by my dry suit,
Thirty pounds bound to my waist,
Hunchbacked by my cylinder,
A mask suctioned to my face,
I leave the world we’ve cultivated,
To attempt to meet our every whim,
To where Nature’s voice can still be heard,
Far above civilization’s din.
No governments, no borders,
Nor economies present.
When down here, I’m reminded,
Of life’s depth and true intent.
I’m an awkward and brief visitor,
In this world of colour and perfection.
I fill with humility, wonder,
Passion and quiet introspection.
Red rock crab near a sand-rose anemone.
For Mother Ocean is home to life,
Older than mammals can comprehend.
I’m grateful that I may learn from her,
Leaving solid ground when I descend.
Diving brought me greater purpose,
Love, vision and camaraderie.
I think that what some find in a church,
I find . . . deep . . . within the sea.
On to the next 600 dives.
Postscript: There was additional “poetry” to today’s dive because it took place after a very powerful storm. Flooding caused the ocean to turn chocolate brown.
This “after the storm” dive further made me reflect on how diving is like a metaphor for life’s greatest challenges. At the risk of the repercussions of exposing you to bad poetry AND “Hallmark-esque” reflections, I will only share the following:
- Even in darkness, there is great beauty (as evident by these blog images from today’s dark dive).
- When you don’t know where you’re going, trust in your compass.
- And, when in the depths of it . . . just breathe.
With great thanks to those who have made me the diver I am.