written by Janice Nigro
When I first considered learning to scuba dive, I could easily imagine the positive impact it would have on sport, travel, and science in my life.
Meeting people and travelling
Scuba divers aren’t generally known as the world’s greatest athletes (wetsuits come in all sizes), but you gotta love being in the water. It does happen to be one of the most equalizing sports I have ever participated in. I have seen people who couldn’t walk on land, spring to life underwater.
My family always traveled, but diving empowered me to travel on my own to many cultures in the world that I wouldn’t have otherwise visited. I went to Bora Bora to go diving, not for a honeymoon.
Diving has opened my eyes and shown me first hand that most of the world does not live like I do in the West. Yet people are smart (smarter), make jokes, and fall in love. We are more similar than different.
My head fills with “I wonder why” questions when I am underwater. That’s what I do as a scientist, a biologist in fact, I ask questions. There are important principles we learn from sea creatures. Not just about their mating behaviors or how they are adjusting to climate change, but fundamental principles driving the evolution of life. Cephalopods do something super interesting with their RNA, that genetic material coding for all the proteins in your body, which makes them more readily adaptable to changing conditions in their environment. And perhaps over millennia on the Earth.
Inspiring the artist in me
But I never thought about scuba diving bringing out the artist in me.
I did some kind of art throughout my life. I tried painting, pottery, and knitting among other media. It was my go-to method for relaxation. I was never good at it, but I liked how I felt making art.
Then three hours before a dive trip to Fiji several years ago, I impulsively bought a camera and the cheap plastic housing that came with it. I had already spent a lot of money buying all my own basic diving equipment for the first time. But something told me at that moment in the shop, that if I was going to buy the camera, I should get the underwater housing too.
It turned out to be the best 600 USD I have ever spent.
What are you waiting for?