Scuba diving is going to change your life, if it hasn’t done already. Here are 10 ways in which all divers’ lives are affected.
1. Using Scuba Diving Hand Signals in Everyday Situations
Verbal communications under water is not possible. So scuba divers use hand signals for basic communication. Dive buddies who dive together will often develop additional hand signals for common communications. So what happens when the buddies go to the supermarket? They sometimes tend to use these same signals even when you have the best scuba gears.
Scuba diving hand signals work well to communicate not only in noisy places, but also over great distances. It could appear funny, but it is often very effective.
2. You Become Obsessed With Your Ears
In scuba diving, it is absolutely important that you are able to equalize your ears. Congestion and allergies can be real problems here. You will often see divers periodically pinching their nose and breathing out to check if the ears are working before a trip. Even trivial things such as climate control and air conditioning can mess up the ears, and so divers are often obsessed with these apparently minor issues.
Divers who have experienced equalization problems in the past will frequently travel with an apothecary of their favorite decongestants, ear drops, and anti-inflammatories, even if it makes passing through airport security a little more difficult.
3. Dive Gear Accumulates in Your Home
Soon enough, you begin to have a lot of scuba gear. You could soon have three good scuba masks, four regulators, and six snorkels. Many of this gear can even come from underwater scavenging. Some is probably non-functional, and most of it is unusable.
All the dive gear is hoarded in a stash most commonly to be found in the spare bedroom or the garage. All this can and will create a mess naturally.
4. You Become a Conservationist
It doesn’t matter whether you have been diving for six months or six years, you are sure to appreciate the marine ecosystems, the incredible beauty of the coral reefs, and realize that it is in real danger. Those who have been diving for long will surely have seen that the number of fish and corals are declining. Pollution, overfishing, warming oceans, invasive species, and poor diver practices are all to be blamed for this.
As someone who loves the sea, you just cannot ignore the problem. You have an emotional interest in preserving it. You may begin to select sustainable fish on the menu, pick up trash from the beach, and remove fishing line and other debris from the reef. You will probably also share your concern for the health of the reefs with your non-diving friends. A diver showing concern for the reef and its fish is a very good positive impact of taking up diving.
5. New Vacation and Weekend Plans
As someone in love with scuba diving, it’s likely to take up more of your free time. You will plan your trips around the availability of scuba diving at the destination. You may even end up abandoning previously planned vacation plans. Why visit Paris, when you can go to Fiji and dive six times for the same price? Despite the possible mosquitoes, seasickness, and food poisoning, remote locations and pristine dive sites start to take priority in vacation plans.
Diving becomes central for the evenings and weekends. Sometimes, you meet your dive buddies after work. You arrive home from work, exhausted, but you are mentally relaxed with the thought of diving.
6. You discuss Bodily Functions with Strangers Comfortably
You will meet divers discussing how best to eliminate pee from a wetsuit underwater. You are not uncomfortable talking about such issues. This is not normal dinner-table conversation, but somehow it is okay to discuss with your dive buddies.
Divers learn about each other’s ear health, congestion, indigestion, hydration levels, muscle cramps, and nearly every other physical condition that can affect a diver’s comfort and safety underwater. When was the last time you discussed a chronically dry mouth or massive mucus production with your non-diving friends? These are topics that come up in dive boats, often with people you just met.
7. Membership of a Community of Like-Minded Individuals
People from different backgrounds and careers are interested in scuba diving. You might have very little in common with them, except diving and a love for the sea. It is not uncommon to find a businessman from New York City and a yoga instructor from Portland diving together and sharing life experiences. It can even develop into a life-long friendship. Diving has a way of bonding people despite their differences.
8. Your Retirement Plans Change
That quiet cottage in the mountains, luxurious home in the suburbs, or cozy apartment in your favorite city all seemed like wonderful retirement plans until you started scuba diving. Now, you just want a shack beside the sea, close to your favorite dive site. Divers are often quietly plotting their retirement escapes.
9. It Annoys You When the Media Misrepresents Diving
As an experienced diver, you can easily spot the mistakes and exclaim, “A trained diver will never do that”. Or you may suddenly scream out in the middle of the move, “Where is his dive buddy”? Scuba diving is often misrepresented in popular media. The factual errors irritate you, and you try to rectify it.
10. You Become an Ambassador for the Sport
You love diving. And as an avid diver, you feel your non-diving friends are missing out on seventy percent of the planet, and you are right.
So you make it a point to tell them about diving, your experiences, and why they must absolutely try it. You share Facebook posts, show them home movies, and do everything you possibly can to inspire them.