Manta Divers May Newsletter
Well I’m back from the Brac! I feel refreshed and anxious as ever to get in some local diving. This trip was special to me because it really hit me that there are so many aspects of diving that I love. It is not just an activity, it is a lifestyle!
Diving is a family sport. My sons, 18 and 23 years old went with us on the trip. Since my sons were certified to dive, they have always looked forward to dive vacations. Given the choice, even when they were relatively young, they chose diving over Disneyland! As my boys journeyed through their adolescence, it was nice to always have a common ground, a family activity that all of us enjoyed. We traveled to some really remote locations and were “forced” to have quality time together without the insulation of television or friends or the computer. I know that eventually careers and families may put a brake on some of my sons’ diving, but I am confident that they will never leave it completely and sometime in the future I will be teaching the next generation of the family to dive.
Diving is a sport of discovery. I think I’ve seen some really neat things while diving and I am always studying the reef ID books and oceanographic literature, but there is always something new to discover while diving. On this trip, for example, I finally saw for myself a shrimp cleaning a fish’s mouth. Now judging by the number of times dive magazines run a picture of a shrimp tidying a fish’s mouth, this should be a very common sight on the reef. However, in spite of the number of goby-run cleaning stations I’ve seen my search for the “shrimp-o-matic” cleaning station has been a frustrating one—until now! I also saw a mother lobster aerating her roe inside a coral nook. Cool! Jay, one of our divemasters for the week, often set little goals for our dives. For example, see how many types of hamlets can you find on this dive? Can you find all five varieties of butterfly fish? Can you guess what the barrel sponges are doing right now? (There’s a story to go with that one—ask me at the shop!) I set little skill goals for my dives. I try to decrease air consumption or the amount of weight I need. I always work on perfecting my buoyancy and try to increase the efficiency of my movements underwater.
Diving is a travel sport. I have been lucky to see some amazing places, taste exotic foods, and experience many different cultures. While visiting a new locale, I find it most interesting to engage locals in discussions about their elections or elected officials, or have a cabbie take us on a tour of his town. I make it a practice to eat at at least one restaurant frequented by locals. I’ve actually had really good luck in this, but I still take two Pepto tablets before eating!
Diving is a people sport. I think that of all the people I have met, people I have met while on dive trips are the most interesting. It is still amazing to me the variety of sizes, shapes, occupations and ages divers come in. Divers belong to this family that brings together engineers, doctors, biologists, entrepreneurs, teens, retirees, people from all corners of the earth. We all share a passion for diving and all that encompasses! Divers enjoy sharing their dive stories almost as much as diving.
PADI says that to get the most from your diving certification, you need to go places, meet people and do things underwater. I say you aren’t really a diver if you don’t! So get out there and dive!
Tip of the Month
If you are looking for a gift idea for a diver, or are just looking for a good vacation read for yourself, try Down Time edited by Ed Kittrell, Casey Kittrell, and Jim Kittrell. It is a collection of essays, articles and musings about the thrill, adventure, danger and wonder of scuba diving by great writers. The writers are as diverse a group as divers themselves. Dave Barry, Clare Booth Luce, Jacques Cousteau and Micheal Crichton are just a few of the contributors sharing their dive stories. Enjoy!