For an hour I had my vision firmly set far out on the horizon as our dive boat was being thrown about like the SS Minnow just before it met it’s fate. The last thing I wanted to do was get sea sick just before SCUBA diving the world renowned “Sail Rock”, near Koh Phangan in Thailand.
As we arrived my excitement overtook any chance of sea sickness as we geared up. Then with one big stride entry jump we were bobbing around in the sea. Not much better than being on the boat. Of course the best thing to do to get away from the big waves is to get under them, and quickly, so down we went.
Every time I have the opportunity to hop in the ocean to blow some bubbles I enter a calm meditative state where the whole world, except what’s in my immediate vicinity, floats away with the current of the warm turquoise sea. Today was no different. Once I got about 5 metres under that calm instantly returned. My meditation had begun.
Instantly my world was filled with colourful coral and thousands upon thousands of fish. It was like diving into the coral reef scene in Finding Nemo. In all my years of diving I have never seen this many fish. As the initial excitement of what I was seeing subsided, and as we reached a depth of about 18 metres, I became neutrally buoyant. Just hovering there completely still for a moment.
Consciously I slowed my breathing. I listened to my breathing and the bubbles as I slowed everything down and with a couple of gentle kicks off I went. Effortlessly moving forward I began to focus on the amazing sights before me. In this state I can conserve my air and make the dive last as long as possible.
It felt like each type of reef fish took its turn in coming by to say hello. The prettiest of which on this dive was the Blue Ring Angelfish although each was beautiful in its own way. As I turned my attention away from the reef and out to the deep blue, huge schools of barracuda and queenfish would appear. Every now and then a huge grouper (about as big as me) or giant bat fish would swim on by.
As I continued along the reef with my breathing and buoyancy in check I find I am able to be inches from the reef without any danger of touching it. Being this close and moving nice and slow I can see the small surprises many will miss. On this day its the rarely seen nudibranch. Even very close to the reef are large schools of much smaller fish that dart around as a large mass with each movement I make.
Now every dive I hope to see something I have never seen before. On this dive it was the seemingly endless fields of sea anemones gently waving back and forth with the current as pink anemonefish darted in and out of them (a cousin of Nemo). Brings a big smile to my face every time I see something new.
Bubble Therapy As My Form of Energy Renewal
Meditation is an amazing way to empty your mind and feel your stress melt away and, for me, SCUBA is a perfect way to have this experience. Bubble therapy, as my friend Dave puts it! I know that because of my SCUBA experience on this vacation and with the other forms of meditative activities I do that I will return home clear headed, calmer, refreshed, and re-focused and ready for a productive last half of the year.
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