Have you ever been into the blue?
Have you ever felt tiny? And by this I mean in the scheme of the universe that feeling when you realize that you are a minuscule element; part of something massive; yet slightly insignificant! Ominous I know, but honestly it’s an amazing feeling and one that not many people will ever get to experience unless you happen to be an astronaut or a scuba diver! What am I talking about…..blue dives! Maybe it’s time you take a dive into the blue.
If you have ever leapt of a boat in the middle of the ocean with no reef below you, or walls to guide your descent, or line to follow then you know exactly what I am talking about; that feeling of being completely overwhelmed by just how huge and infinite the ocean actually is.
I will never forget my first foray into blue diving. As a young relatively new PADI instructor – we are invincible don’t you know – I did many things that nowadays I would probably classify as pushing my own personally boundaries a little bit. And my first blue dive was one of those experiences.
There was a group of us, all likeminded new PADI Instructors with a rare day with no courses to teach. So instead of relaxing and taking time to off gas – remember I said we were all invincible – we agreed to take out the boat and go on an exploratory dive. The dive did have a purpose; we had been told of a sunken island not far off the wall and thought it sounded cool. So off we went with rough coordinates in hand in search of our new mystery dive site.
After a while of simply cruising around looking for a landmark that we were not really sure existed we decided to try our luck in essentially the middle of nowhere. Buddy checks were completed, dive plans were drawn up, safety procedures were discussed – we may be invincible but we were not stupid divers – once everyone was ready we leapt of the stern of the boat and slowly began to descend into the blue.
Wow!! What a feeling, you see the sunlight above streaming through the water, the abyss below you getting darker and darker calling you to dive deeper and deeper. Strange jelly fish like creatures dancing and sparkling as they float past; schools of fish darting below and above you and then there is that sense of being totally lost, adrift at sea with nothing around you but bubbles and blue – amazing!
Now don’t get me wrong as wonderful and awe inspiring that is; it is also incredibly daunting and slightly terrifying! With no visual reference to guide you it is very easy to drop well below your planned depth, suffer from vertigo, get overcome by narcosis or simply feel inadequate, which is a feeling no diver ever likes to experience. Then there is that other fear of what is out there! After all there are some big fish down in the deep that surface for one reason only – dinner! And with no reef nearby for protection what would you do if that lone giant of the deep decided to swim up for a visit! (narcosis is really quite vivid at this depth)
We never did find the sunken island, but we did have an experience of a lifetime. Yes we pushed our personal boundaries a little; yes we all thought we saw a giant of the deep just slightly out of our direct line of vision to decide if it was a giant shark, whale or squid! And yes we all survived! As a likeminded group of divers who all happened to be good friends it was the perfect way to experience our first blue dive. Have I done them since, yes a few times and were they as good as the first? Yes they were. But every time I have jumped off the boat and sank into the blue abyss I have been with likeminded divers and friends. People I am comfortable pushing my personal boundaries with.
If you have been into the blue, I recommend you try it. Just remember to dive with people you know, after all it’s a big blue and very deep ocean out there!