Aren't you scared?
When people; friends, relatives, strangers find out my profession is being a scuba diver, I am ALWAYS asked the same five questions. In fact, I could blurt out the answers before they even ask them. Sometimes if you’re lucky I won’t cut you off, but it’s the same five every time.
1. Diving, why do you do it and don’t you ever get scared? This is a double question, because when people ask it comes out as one breath and is ALWAYS followed by number two. Why do I dive? Hmmm, a few reasons actually. I have an immense passion for the water, I love the serenity, it’s the ultimate me time, I love breaking physics and challenging myself, and I started diving because it was a family thing. I always love everything the water has to offer, the sealife the peacefulness, it’s a different experience that’s almost indescribable being underwater. And then "do you ever get scared" comes shortly after… so I usually follow that up with my own question “ Of what?” and then number two follows.
2. Are you afraid of Sharks? No. I am not afraid of sharks, in fact I love sharks and I love working with them. I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people that do Shark and Reef conservation and they have been able to give me amazing experiences with sharks. Sharks aren’t man eaters, they don’t just swim up to you and take an arm off for the fun of it. Most if the “facts” on Sharkweek are construed for negative publicity when the reality is we should be doing more to protect and conserve sharks. This is something I could go on and on about, especially because sharks are so important to the ecosystem, but I’ll leave at that.
3. Have you found any treasure? Have I found any treasure, gosh I have to try not to laugh in people’s faces when they ask me this. No, I haven’t found treasure, this isn’t Hollywood. Scuba divers don’t just stumble upon treasure, sure we might find some old subway tile or some china but no gold doubloons. A lot of treasure has been found, a lot also lies on the bottom of the ocean floor we can’t dive to, but it’s not a common occurrence to find on a dive.
4. How deep have I gone? Well to a non-diver 30 feet sounds deep. But I personally have only hit 130 feet because I am not a tech diver. That’s my standard answer that makes eyes roll, as a non-diver you don’t understand the physics and physiology behind diving and the extensive training such as advanced nitrox and decompression procedures, helitrox, or trimix training that is necessary to go beyond the recreational limit of 130 feet. Anything below snorkeling sounds deep, however deep isn’t what’s important, diving safely to my training limits is what is important.
5. What’s the coolest thing I’ve seen? That answer varies, it depends on what YOU think is cool. I love the small colorful nudibranchs we get here in South Florida, but my true passion is shipwrecks. Are they cool? To me yes, to you maybe not. This is probably my least favorite question get asked because it is so relative to each diver. I could be telling the most epic story of a wreck I thought was cool, but if you don’t like shipwrecks well, you’ll think the story is boring!
What questions are YOU asked as a scuba diver?