Seeing the Sea Is Why I Love Diving

by Natalie Novak

Natalie with file fish
I love scuba diving in the ocean. I have come to terms with this addiction and, if I am going to be addicted to something, this is the healthiest thing I can think of.

I love it when I jump off the boat and am immersed in a world that is bluer then the bluest sky. I love gliding down to depth, and I am addicted to the feeling of weightlessness that I get when it's only my breathing which moves me up or down through the water. Even my husband notices that I am happier on days when I have been diving.

What I am most addicted to is the lottery that happens underwater. Every minute underwater is an opportunity to see something new. I always want to know what is over this ridge, under the edge of that coral head, and around the next corner. Each time I go diving, I am never sure what I will see. But after literally thousand of dives from Akumal, I am still amazed at what I find. Every piece of coral, the blue above me, and even the sand can contain some new wonder.

Right now, parrotfish are gathering together in clouds, then suddenly two fish will shoot up together and mate in the blink of an eye. Loggerhead turtles that can be a hundred years old are searching for partners. On a dive last week a loggerhead came up to me and my diver with a gleam in his golf ball-sized eye. When he got to about 10 feet away, I could see the disappointment on his basketball-sized face, as he realized that, though we were the right size, sadly we were not the right species.

And, a few days ago, two fish I had never seen before, orange filefish, passed between me and a friend with a camera. Thanks to Eddie for these lovely pictures.

Dive tip: Even if you have been to a dive site before, keep an eye out for new creatures. Sometimes they can pass over you in the distance unnoticed, so make a habit of looking around and above you every few minutes in case you get to find something special!