Scuba diving is a popular adventure sport around the world. The underwater world has an irresistible attraction for adventure lovers who enjoy the adrenaline gushing as they dive deep under the blue waters to explore the wrecks and reefs and incredible marine life amid a serene and calm setting, which can at times turn wildly thrilling. Scuba diving is a way of life for many people who are ready to soak in the blood gushing underwater adventure that opens a whole new world before them. The wide array of fish, coral, and other sea creatures swishing around you as you glide through the sea-green water will remind you of the adventures of Captain Nemo, made famous by Jules Verne in the unmemorable sci-fi Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea written more than a hundred years ago.
Scuba diving is the best way to explore the underwater marvels that have fascinated humans for centuries. You can experience close encounters with the marine universe and unravel some of its wonders and secrets. The breathtaking beauty of the underwater world will never cease to thrill as you get a glimpse of the diverse inhabitants and colorful waterscape. As you float below the azure blue waters enjoying the ethereal beauty of the unknown hydrosphere, you must be ready for the occasional jolt that can arise from various circumstances.
Despite being familiar with the word scuba, not many people might know that it is the acronym of Self-contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a French naval officer, and oceanographer developed the technique of scuba diving way back in the 1940s with some help from Émile Gagnan for the French Navy during World War II. The diving that aided military exercises became public after many years and turned into a recreational sport that has since attracted millions across the world.
No dive is the same
The opportunities for scuba diving are endless as you can dive into the tropical waters anywhere in the world. South-East Asia has many beautiful spots, and you can explore the ocean of the Caribbean in Central America, including Hawaii, which many consider as a paradise for divers. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is perhaps the most famous Scuba diving spot in the world. Besides diving into the tropical waters, the more adventuristic souls can venture into the ice-cold waters in Antarctica and Iceland and even dive into the Austrian lakes. The attraction of scuba diving goes up many more times due to the wide variety of underwater environments that divers can enjoy as each site produces new kind of excitement and adventure that drive them to embark on new diving trips. Even diving at the same site several times will never be the same as each time something new happens.
Scuba diving is not for all, especially not for the faint-hearted, and it requires proper training to become a certified scuba diver. The training imparts special skills that are essential for scuba divers to survive safely underwater. Here are some top sites for enjoying the thrills and adventure of underwater life.
Belize Great Barrier Reef Blue Hole, Australia
It’s a whole new aquatic world out there under the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland, Australia. It is among the top 10 diving sites in the world, an honor conferred by the most revered naval expert and explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Located 60 miles away from the mainland, it is a two-hour boat ride to reach the spot where the Great Blue Hole lies within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.
The Great Blue Hole, which is 1000 feet in diameter and 400 feet deep, came into prominence very recently when marine biologist Johnny Gaskell explored a hidden hollow in the Great Barrier Reef on 12 December 2017. It was formed during the ice-age when the limestone floor of the area was above the water level. When the ocean levels rose again, it created a deep patch on the seafloor. There is virtually no current in the crystal blue and clear water that allows you to see up to 200 feet. Only experienced scuba divers can make it to the Blue Hole that does not have many aquatic creatures except for some occasional sharks.
Manta Ray Night Dive. Kona, Hawaii
It’s an enchanting experience to see the huge and wonderful manta trays swooping gracefully across the water as you keep dazing at one of the great wonders of the underwater world. The Big Island of Hawaii is a dream destination for scuba divers that has no parallel. The Pacific Manta-Ray is a huge aquatic creature with an average wingspan between 5 and 8 feet, which can be as big as 14 feet in some types. The giant looking creatures are quite harmless as it neither has teeth nor stingers. It is a very safe encounter that provides the thrills that make scuba diving so much attractive. Divers can go down to the ocean floor at a depth of 25 feet. While staying still at one place can point flashlights into the dark water that draws plankton masses, which the manta rays feed upon.
Reef Diving, Oahu, Hawaii
Just as enchanting as the dive you can experience in Kona would be the various reef scuba diving Oahu that brings you to the word of Hawaiian Monk Seals, White Tip reef Sharks, eagle Rays, large eels, frog fish, and the famous Hawaiian Green Trutles. Oahu also brings you multitude of wreck diving opportunities that other scuba dive sites may lack. It is worth shining the dive light on the reef overhangs to explore a variety of critters hosted in that natures marvel.
Tiger Beach, Bahamas, Shark diving
For some daring adventure underwater, you must dive into the waters of Freeport, Grand Bahama. It is home to some of the most dreaded Tiger sharks, which are ruthless predators. Tiger sharks are fearsome creatures that can turn aggressive and attack humans just out of curiosity, and you must have the courage and tact to tackle their aggression. Accompanying a reputable dive operator is a way to view 10 to 15 feet long Tiger sharks while staying comfortably placed inside a cage. In certain areas, divers may venture for a cageless experience alongside a safety diver to view Lemon sharks and Caribbean Reef sharks, which are a little safe.
Scuba diving gives the rare opportunity of peeping into the fantastic world of underwater species, which by the current count, is around 230,000m species. Seeing the underwater life is an incredible experience, and the satisfaction of looking at the earth from a completely different angle is truly unmatched.