Lets go for a Dive

When I tell people that I like to dive and that I’m majoring in marine biology. Most of them gasp and respond with “But aren’t you afraid of the sharks?!” I can’t count how many times people have feared for my safety simply because I’m swimming in the ocean. I would jump in a steel cage with chum in the water in a heart beat with the anxious anticipation of seeing such a large powerful animal! I’d love to see a shark up close. But most would rather not have any sort of shark experience. Maybe it’s because Jaws still has a large effect on most people and the fear of ‘what lies beneath’ has a very strong hold on them.

My mom, for instance, can swim in a pool and get on a cruise but the minute you give her a few ocean waves and she’s past her waist in water she freaks out! I’m not sure why but she panics. I had my mom put my snorkel and mask on once to look at an anemone in ankle-deep water and as soon as the mask and snorkel were in place I could hear her hyperventilating. She’s used a snorkel before and it was ankle-deep water. I love my mother to death but lucky for me, I didn’t inherit her fear of the ocean.

Quite contrarily I love the ocean. Moving from inland Illinois to sunny Florida gave me the wonderful opportunity to dive whenever the chance presented itself. I’ve been able to go swimming with manatees…

Fiddle with Flamingo’s tongue snails…

and countless other experiences where I’ve been able to experience the marvels of the ocean. I’ve seen about a handful of sharks, most of them just sitting on the bottom. I think the scariest experience I’ve had underwater was a very strong current that could have swept my small body into the depths of the ocean. I thought I was going to disappear in the Gulf of California and never to be seen again, but besides that, I’d like to think the ocean is my friend.

Although my diving has been limited to Florida and Mexico, Jay and I plan on expanding those dive locations. All we need is air in our tanks, some spit in our masks, and a coastal town and we’re ready to go!

-Ay and Jay

April 5, 2011

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