Why Scuba Diving is Underrated

An underwater journey into mindfulness

Sit on the edge of the boat, hand over mask and regulator, fall back. 

Welcome to the world under the surface of the ocean. 

Feel your ears adjust to the weight of the water around you, let your eyes adjust to the vibrant colours, take a breath and watch the bubbles float to the surface. Everything is silent. 

No wait, suspended in the water your eyes meet your buddy's. You realize the silence you hear is the silence of the sounds you know, the silence of speech. Now your ears fill with the noise of the sea - your breathing, the bubbles, the crackling of coral, even the movement of the ocean can be heard all around you. 

Above the surface I am task oriented and always looking for 'what next', in this new world I am lost. I am lost in the colours around me, I am lost in the plethora of living things, I am lost in the movement of this world. Then I see my buddy - is she just as amazed as I am? I just want to yell and laugh and shout "Look at this!! Look at this amazing creature!! Can you feel the current?!" But I can't.. I see the corners of her mouth curl into a smile around her regulator, she sees the excitement in my eyes and with that smile I know, she gets it. 

We spent the next hour exploring the underwater world of Koh Haa, getting lost staring at walls made up of thousands of micro-organisms and following parrot fish as they dart between the rocks. 

Then a tap on my shoulder. Hand signals asking how much air I had left. 50 bar. Time to go. Back to the noisy world above the glassy surface. 

As we sit at our 5m safety stop, each moment that passes I feel the increasing need to get going, get moving, get doing. Get on the boat, rinse gear, eat lunch, get ready for the second dive.. 

Dive.  

At last, the welcome embrace of the ocean once more. 

I focus on my every move, making it as effortless as possible. On my every breath, making it as efficient as possible. Anything I can do to extend my time here in this world. My eyes take in all they can, my ears listen out for a gentle tapping indicating a sighting of a whale shark, or a manta ray, my breathing slows. Every fibre in my body is in the present moment. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Tiffany Fernyhough

Outdoor Educator from Hong Kong + New Zealand | Currently in Alberta, Canada