I have always loved scuba diving, but life is strange, filled with twists, turns and obstacles of various types, and so I have never really had a chance to actually go scuba diving…Oh of course when I was a kid, I had a snorkel, a mask and some fins, because I was entranced by the concept of underwater swimming… But I never had the opportunity to don the tanks and do some real scuba diving, like in Hawaii or off the coast of California…Just the experience of snorkeling, or diving beneath the surface of the water and observing the fish and plants on their level that I have done was very exciting, fun, and pleasurable to me, and the fins enabled an unbelievable amount of extra propulsion you would have to experience to believe…
Swimming underwater is a sensation exactly like flying to me, but without that sickening feeling of falling…. When I dive under the water, I can propel myself effortlessly across the underwater terrain….I can swoop down to the bottom easily, without any friction or drag just by using my arms in an easy sweeping motion and moving my legs in a lazy, controlled up and down kick, especially if I have fins on, and since I am “flying” I can easily examine some plant that catches my eye, or swim toward a small school of fish and view them on their own terms, in their own natural environment, and there is none of the inherent friction and contradiction that surface swimmers deal with, half in and half out of the water….
Traditional swimmers are always contradicted by definition because they are always half in the water and half in the air, and they are struggling to propel themselves with their strong arms and legs just to stay afloat and keep their heads above water, but they are always fighting the inherent drag of gravity; it is not natural to be half in and half out of the water, fighting to stay afloat by constant motion…..It is like they are fighting the water, while when you are underwater swimming you are a part of the aquatic environment, in harmony with the watery element….
Scientists say we all evolved from the ocean millions of years ago, except for perhaps the smarter species like the dolphins and whales, who chose to stay…They are both air breathing mammals who since they have no gills like fish, must surface to breathe the air they need to live; have live babies and don’t lay eggs like fish and care for their young, exactly like mammals on land…
Studies have shown a very complex, interdependent society and hierarchy amongst dolphins and whales; they have the capacity to somehow communicate with each other, to recognize individual members of each group, and they also band together to fight against a common enemy like great white sharks, the assassins of the ocean…And don’t forget, as graphically seen from outer space and measured here on the ground, the earth is ¾ water and only ¼ land anyway! Dolphins and whales are no threat to humans, and in fact often enjoy their company, following boats around and frolicking and leaping out of the water for fun…
But I have no desire to hang out underwater with these rightful owners of the aquatic domain…I would just like to have once in my life taken a few classes and actually experienced life under the ocean waters as a natural part of the environment, instead of fighting to avoid drowning like surface swimmers always seem to be doing….I always wanted to explore some of the beautiful underwater coral reefs, observed some of the beautiful natural underwater rock formations and perhaps even check out some shipwrecks….
Well it is too late for me, but if you have the urge to merge with the creatures of the sea on their own terms, as a visitor to their world, there are many well established scuba schools and trainers available to help you achieve your quest….If you go to Yelp.com there are 9 schools located right here in the Bay Area…For example, according to my Google sources, you can contact the Harbor Dive Center in Sausalito and learn to scuba dive and get one day lessons and rent scuba equipment:
“One-Day Classes — Streamlined classroom sessions offer more pool time for students to perfect their skills and to have MORE FUN, while completing their academics and confined water sessions in one day!This is yet another way Harbor Dive Center strives to make learning to scuba dive fun!One-day classes•Limited shore entries, diving from a boat….Rental gear delivery for all open water dives available at an additional cost•
Large, well-equipped, 660,000 gallon training facility with varying depths in sixteen 25-yard lanes, forming a contour that closely simulates the real environment! Harbor Dive Center is your first step into the underwater world through the wonders of diving!”
Another school rated highly on Yelp, which is a good resource in and of itself for this topic is : San Francisco Scuba Schools, with 42 comments…If you are interested in at least exploring the possibilities, I would start with the Yelp.com list of certification and training schools listed under the “Best scuba diving certification in San Francisco-Yelp” in Google….
Now if you are really, really into scuba diving, you can become a professionally certified diver, again according to my Google sources, you can contact D.I.T or Divers Institute of Technology, just by calling 888-926-3138…Here is what they have to say: “There are many skills you’ll need to master to make a career in commercial diving. In 7 months, we’ll teach you physics, dive medicine, topside and underwater welding, cutting, and burning, rigging, salvage, deep water & open water diving and more.
Wow! Way too heavy for me, but somebody out there will no doubt be interested in pursuing a career as a professional diver, and this school seems like a good way to start! Like I said, life is strange, and you never know…I have actually had people tell me that they would never go swimming underwater like a scuba diver does for fear of being gobbled up by a great white shark or giant squid, but c’mon people, you face more danger just driving to work each day!…Well, different strokes for different folks, as they say…
But one thing I do know is that time flies, and although it is already too late for me, it may be something you may have thought about but never really checked out…Give it a try, what do you have to lose? And I also know this: I will never forget the unbelievably exciting feeling of just swimming underwater, it made me feel like Superman, like I was flying, with none of the common fear reflexes of falling sensations inherent to flying….
Remember,you are supported at all times by the gravity of the water, and in a very profound and emotional way you feel deep inside like you have returned home, to your natural environment, if just for a short time…And in a way, you have..
For more information on the Harbor Dive school in Sausalito, see: scwww.harbordive.com/
For more information on San Francisco Scuba Schools in Pacifica, they are located at 541 Oceana Blvd
Pacifica, CA 94044 Phone number (415) 662-3483
For more information on commercial diving, see www.diversinstitute.edu/
For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com