Ocean depths call to the souls of scuba divers
Scuba diving is a relatively new sport. It was only since the turn of the twentieth century that man has been able to produce equipment that allows a human to breath underwater. It was not until the 1950s that the high pressure cylinder would be invented, allowing people to carry an air supply and swim freely under the surface. This changed the way diving was done and made it more affordable and practical, allowing recreational divers to explore the reefs.
Scuba is an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It is a system that allows a diver to carry pressurized air with a regulator that delivers air as the diver breathes. With the right training and preparation, breathing air 100 feet below the waves can be as easy as breathing on the surface.
Scuba diving requires an understanding of the effect of breathing air under pressure, and of the chemical changes that occur in the body while at depth. Although it is a very safe sport, a lack of understanding can cause catastrophic problems and even death. Surfacing too quickly, holding the breath during ascent, and staying too deep for too long can all have serious, even fatal results.
But the risks can be minimized with proper precautions and the allure of the deep is powerful enough to make the risks worthwhile. Scuba divers are able to explore a mysterious and beautiful world where creatures swim freely and coral reefs resemble some sort of alien landscape. The ocean is a tranquil and relaxing place one moment, and a hostile world the next. Each creature is part of a delicate balance where they are both predator and prey and the roles can switch in an instant. Divers must be very respectful of the fact that they are guests in this domain and that improper behavior can have severe consequences.
Scuba divers often describe the sensation of weightlessness as being similar to floating in space. Drifting on a current, or swimming along over the bottom is like watching the world's biggest movie screen. The animals are colorful and fascinating. Some are immense and awe-inspiring. Each experience is unique and thrilling.
The call of the deep is powerful and scuba divers who have become comfortable in this realm describe a feeling of peace and tranquility that touches their souls like nothing else on earth.