*** WARNING ***
This post contains strong language that may offend certain sensitivities. Read at your discretion.
If you were to ask me why I love scuba diving so much, I will tell you without hesitation that is the peace and solitude the sport offers.
No, I’m not a solo diver and I don’t have plans to be one anytime soon but the training sounds pretty damn good and worth the investment. Ironically, I enjoy the company of my dive buddies and the dive crowds.
Seems kind of self-contradicting, doesn’t it?
I mean, here I am telling you how much I appreciate the solitude of the sport yet I can’t think of diving without friends. What gives?
If you are diver, then you know. If not, please allow me to elaborate.
Do you know what happens once get below the surface?
The whole world just shuts the fuck up!
Wow! No more obnoxious idiots blasting music out of their cars, as if compensating for their shriveled manhood, no noise of traffic, no noise of airplanes, or car alarms, or the irritating ring of intrusive cellphones filling the air with useless banter. None of that bullshit!
They get blocked by the refuge of the water realm, their unwelcome cacophony replaced instead by the soothing music of bubbles and the clicking and popping of the underwater life. I cannot think of a escape more pure than this. Mmm, solitude! Fucking delicious, peaceful solitude.
But I’m not alone. I’m next to my buddy, or buddies, surrounded by their company. But you know what? They are thinking exactly as I am, embracing the escape that diving provides. None of us can talk to disrupt our peace, yet we communicate. Lights and signals are sufficient to create our language, one only divers understand. Sometimes only a stare is enough. The limbs remain busy with lights or gadgets and only one look from our dive buddy says it all. We only nod or produce a glint of our eyes as a reply.
I’ve witnessed highly experienced divers relying only on their silent instinct. Not eye contact, no signals, no light sweeps. It is as if they communicate their intentions telepathically, synchronizing their moves with exquisite precision and silence, furthering the sweet privilege of social solitude.
Yes, diving is one of those sports. There’s solitude but you are not alone. You’re responsible for your own safety through your skills and your gear and no diving buddy can make up for lack of confidence in the water. Yet amid the silence and elation is good to have another like-minded individual living the very same experience. Nothing beats sharing how much we enjoyed our solitude together when we surface and recall the events and what we felt.
Maybe this makes sense to you, maybe it doesn’t. I seek the underwater refuge to let my mind absorb the beauty of the surroundings and enjoy the cessation of the human voice, at least temporarily. I wonder if this is why solo divers pursue this world on their own, if they are more sensitive to the disruption of the surface world or long for a more profound respite.
And yes, I’m aware that some people enjoy the hi-tech communication devices now available to keep verbal track of each other. I never said they were bad, but I’m guessing they experience with them is different. Not better or bad, just different. I have not used them and I cannot judge on their merits. All I know is how much I enjoy the escape of the silence.
What is your preference for diving? Do you cherish the silence or would prefer some background music?
I hope to hear from you.