Whilst watching a TV show called `30 Rock`, I witnessed a scene where a group of `idiots` are seen to be protesting against a “lack of equal rights for idiots and dumb people the world over”.
Amongst the dumb people in the protest are models, those who live on the Jersey shore, country hicks from the deep south, and scuba fanatics. The protagonist, Liz Lemon, grimaces in disgust when a dive enthusiast utters the words “it’s a whole other world down there!”.
I have to admit, I did laugh at this, but I instantly felt stung…indeed, it made me question; whether I am in fact a dumb person. Perhaps I am a dork? Certainly, there is a lot of technical speak and jargon in diving, but does that mean that all dive fans are the underwater equivalent of train-spotters?
Here at Karang Divers on Gili Air, we often sit around on our wooden beruga after dives and chat about what we saw…in fact, that is half the fun of diving! One guest of ours highlighted a major point recently;
“You know, you guys spend an awful lot of your lives talking about fish don`t you? Its kinda weird and isn`t it?”
Now, he meant it in jest (at least I think so anyway) and he does have a point, but I couldn`t help but feel a little like I was a teenager again, queuing up outside the Angel Hotel in Cardiff, South Wales, ready to attend the annual sci-fi and star trek convention. (Side-note, he did leave a very flattering Tripadvisor review for us, so I am not complaining!)
One of the interesting points here, is the idea of passion; with enough passion, one can spend time talking about anything; vintage film posters, romantic novels, exotic fungus, certain types of birds. The same goes for underwater adventures; with so much going on around you, I feel that there is plenty to talk about. But whilst explaining about the Advanced Fish I.D course, one potential student said that
“I`m not really interested in learning about the different names, I mean, they are all fish aren`t they?`
Surely someone who has aims of becoming a Padi Divemaster should have even a tiny bit of interest in ichthyology? (I have been wanting to use that word for a while now).
Either way, I came to the conclusion that I would rather be a dive-dork and ramble on about fins/feeding patterns/colour patterns; it`s what I do for a living! Apart from that, I read an interesting quote from William Beebe, the famous diving pioneer and naturalist who, in 1930, broke world records for a human underwater using technology…he said this about his experience under the waves;
“There came to me at that instant, a tremendous wave of emotion, a real appreciation of what was momentarily almost superhuman, cosmic, of the whole situation; our barge slowly rolling high overhead in the blazing sunlight, like the merest chip in the midst of the ocean…we human beings…peered into the abyssal darkness, as we dangled (weightless) in mid water, isolated as a lost planet in outer space”
If that doesn`t sum up the idea of diving being a `whole other world`, I don`t know what does!