After I got my PADI I’ve been promoting diving as an activity relentlessly to all my peers (of course I had to) and I find that there’s a need to correct some misconceptions about diving. For starters, diving isn’t just about floating around the deep blue ocean and looking at nemo. The recreational activities available for divers are endless. Here are some I’d love to explore (after I get my advance certificate of course).
1. Cave Diving
Cave diving is like entering into a strange underwater world. It seems almost mystical, somewhat inviting and a mermaid would complete the experience. Watch this video and you’ll understand (skip to 3:26 if you’re impatient).
2. Night Diving
Night diving is for you to see your usual dive sites in a different “light”. Many marine creatures hide themselves when there is sunlight and you will only spot them on a night dive! And believe it or not, the colours your see underwater are more vibrant at night as it doesn’t get absorbed by the sunlight. It can seem scary at first as you are completely reliant on your dive torch. I’d suggest bringing an extra or 2, for your own security and just relax! I was told you’ll get comfortable after awhile, and if you think about if, you will never lose sight of your buddies as long as their lights are switched on!
3. Wreck Diving
This is one that gets quite a few of my peers raising an eyebrow to. Wreck diving does sound kinda freaky especially if you know that people actually died on the wreck. Divers who love exploring wrecks are probably curious behind the history of the wreck, especially if they were part of the world war. The wrecks are pretty much remnants that you usually see in the museums but better preserved underwater! Other wrecks are impressive based on the sheer size of the ocean liners or planes that went down under. One can also experience the abundant marine life that has taken over the wreck site, increasing the thrill of the dive! Here’s a list of some wreck diving sites in the world by PADI (and many others by the commenters)
photo credits: CasaDeQueso via Flickr
4. Deep Diving
The idea and definition of deep diving is debated by many professional divers but to me, it just means diving deeper. The marine life varies at different depths therefore deep diving can offer you a new set of sitings. The basic PADI cert allows divers to dive up to 18m if you want to go deep you would have to go beyond that. Apart from that, deep divers can explore the many blue holes around the world. Blue holes are limestone sinkholes, or vertical caves to give you a better perspective. It’s really deep and but the depth is also alluring. People who have gone for the dives say that you can see tiny creatures living on the walls and stalactites and the experience is somewhat like diving in a cathedral. Here’s Galding’s experience diving the Blue hole in Belize and here’s 5 Amazing Blue holes the world has to offer.
photo credit: MFS – The Many Faces of Spaces via Flickr
5. Drift Diving
Drift diving is like an underwater roller coaster ride (sounds dangerous? can be, so make sure you are skilled enough!) Drift diving is when the diver is transported by a currents. You can cover a longer distance, see more habitats and formation on the dive and enjoy a sensation of flying. It’s like what the turtles experienced in Finding Nemo. I was looking up on drift diving and I found something really awesome. Around the French Polynesia, there is something called the Grey Shark Wall (see picture below).
This is how it works:
On the south end of the atoll, divers hit the water at the mouth of Tumakohua Pass, a narrow channel leading into the atoll lagoon. On an incoming tide, the current sucks into the channel like water down a drain, reaching speeds up to 4 knots. “You start in the open sea and swim toward the mouth of the pass,” says Mary Anne Leou of TOPDIVE Fakarava. “This is where you find the gray-shark wall.” The signature feature of this dive is towering a gauntlet of sharks — hundreds of grays, black tips, white tips and more — that block the entrance. Once into the pass divers sweep past the coral-draped walls packed with Napoleon wrasse before they’re ejected into the calm waters of the lagoon.
HOW COOL IS THAT?!
photo credit: Andy Murch
Here’s the list of 6 Ripping Drift Dives, including the Grey Shark Wall.
So you see, diving isn’t just about floating around the ocean and seeing the corals, there is so much more to experience out there. And just for fun, here’s 6 Daredevil Dives collated by scubadiving[dot]com. I’d say I’m generally quite daring, but it did send chills down my spine when I saw the list.
Wherever you’re diving enjoy your dive. If you’re still thinking about getting the PADI, go get it!
Peace & Love,