The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet’s surface. It is thus a pity that man has not been born with fins and gills. However, it has not stopped mankind from exploring the ocean, with or without equipment.
Although studied for so long, the ocean still holds a lot of mysteries. To researchers, it contains a lot of potentials, hiding secrets about the Earth. However, to the ordinary people, we could only aspire to graze the surface of this vastness through diving. Before, there had only been scuba diving available to ocean-curious humans. But nowadays, freediving has become preferable, being less costly and more liberating. Most professionals, however, recommend only a safe depth of 40 feet.
The difference between scuba diving and freediving is not just the absence or presence of gears or the depth of the dive. The essential difference is experience. It’s up to you what you want to do under the water. With scuba gear, the diver could stay longer in the water. However, a free diver could move faster without the heavy load and could go after the sea creatures faster. In both kinds of diving, though, you should get proper training and license.
Preparing for your diving courses
There is a lie spread by unscrupulous tour operators that commercial scuba diving could be done even if you have zero experience in swimming. You just need to float, they say. No. First of all, you won’t be diving in calm waters. The ocean is rather a tricky body of water. It could look calm on the surface but turbulent in its depths. The minute you get inside the water, you could easily get swept several meters away from your boat. So first and foremost, you have to be a strong swimmer.
Those who wish to engage a lot in recreational diving even undergo chiropractic care to keep their spine aligned and capable of withstanding strong currents. Preparatory sessions for scuba diving are usually done in swimming pools to test the endurance of the swimmer. However, it is best if you are used to swimming in the open sea. It will prepare you for the strength of the ocean pushing you back. Sinking or diving to the bottom is also more difficult in saltwater.
You don’t have to restrict your preparations for swimming too. Since you would need good lungs to endure swimming, cardio exercises will also benefit your body and prepare you for diving.
Choosing a diving school
There are diving schools that offer courses in four days. However, you will already be expected to have read and familiarized yourself with the basics of diving before you appear in class. The meetings would be solely for pool sessions and guided diving activities. Some courses last up to two weeks. Here, they mix lectures with practical swimming and diving sessions.
People often go for the first option as it saves time. It also saves them money since they could do the familiarization from their homes and will only need to pay for their lodging for the four days. However, if you want to be prepared to meet the ocean, it is best to go on a full diving course.
Looking for some interesting dive spots
Once you’ve obtained your license, go beyond the usual shipwrecks and corrals. The Blue Hole in Belize is among the top-cited dive spots in the world. It’s a marine sinkhole that is visible from the skies. Just make sure you are prepared to meet sharks as it is habitat to reef sharks, bull sharks, and hammerheads.
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is another top site. However, due to its popularity and largely due to climate change, the coral reefs start to dry out. So if you wish to visit it before it dies, follow the rules of conservationists when diving. Respect the needs of the sea creatures as you are a mere visitor. It is their home.
You could also use your diving skills beyond the ocean. The Cenotes is an interesting spot located in Mexico. These are sinkholes with an extensive cave system. However, your open water diver certification is not enough to get into these waters. You will need extra technical training as it would be different from diving in the open ocean.
The ocean holds so much mystery. So many monsters of the depth have been imagined in the history of mankind, instilling fear in the bipedal humans. The easiest way to conquer this is to explore the ocean yourself.