Under the Sea is not just a fun song sung by Disney characters, it is also an anthem shared by scuba divers the world over, a celebrated love for all things below the surface.

I have been a certified scuba diver for many years now. I fell in love with this sport from the first plunge I took into salty Caribbean waters in August of 2005. Yes, my maiden voyage into the deep open water was just out of arms reach of Hurricane Katrina crawling and churning its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

Although my first outing was plagued by nauseating 8-10 foot seas at the surface, the sights that awaited me at 60-100 feet below were completely captivating. If you have never been, there is so much that you are missing. I experienced such profound beauty and calm, watching the various creatures swim by, listening only to the sound of my breath, floating in the vast shimmering blue.

The skies were clear so it wasn’t until we arrived back to Cozumel’s shore that we all found out that our loved one’s back home were preparing for a storm. I’m from South Louisiana and we’re not strangers to the storm drill, but none of us had a clue what was about to happen.

My certification trip was indeed a memorable one for many different reasons. I was somehow changed even before I went home to a week of clean up, no electricity, and a horror show unfolding in neighboring New Orleans.

I had just returned from a saltwater heaven and desperately longed to return to the sprawling coral reefs that house a plethora of colorful and interesting creatures, great and small. That one trip sparked an addiction in me that will probably last my whole life. On one of my trips to the waters of the Caribbean, I met a man who was in his early nineties and still diving…I can only hope to be that lucky.

Are you a scuba diver or a lover of the ocean?

Did you have a trip that changed you?

Tell me about it. Share in the comments below.


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