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Scuba! -- The magic of being underwater

by Carol Cotton Walker

The boat dancing across the ocean swells. The warmth of the golden sun as it beats down upon my face and shoulders. Aluminum tanks clanging together as the waves caress the boat. I can feel the excitement of the people around me, just as I feel my own. The fresh smell of the ocean as it whispers through the breeze coming across the bow of the boat.

The boat slows to a crawl as we approach the mooring ball marking the dive site. The dive crew readies the boat. People begin to stir, defogging masks, sipping water, pulling up their wetsuits, giving their cameras a last check, examining their own gear as well as their buddies'.

The Dive Master gathers all divers and offers his well-rehearsed dive briefing. Our maximum depth. Our maximum time. What to look for and where to look. What, if anything, to avoid. Will we see sharks today? How about whales? Dolphins? Giant manta rays? Maybe a few giant moray eels? Seahorses? Turtles? Honestly, it doesn't matter to me what I see...

What matters most is how I feel when I'm in this foreign environment -- underwater. The sights, the sounds, the colors, the shapes, the feeling of weightlessness. After all, this is as close to being in outer space as most of us will ever experience. The true feeling of freedom. And, ah, the silence!

These are the reasons many of us find such a fascination with the underwater world. Every dive is unique to each of us. Everyone has his or her own story to tell and memories to share. Scuba divers form bonds that nobody else can understand. We share experiences that most people cannot even fathom.

Imagine... Swimming in the Sea of Cortez alongside a whale shark that's 40 feet long. Peering out into the abyss and seeing a thousand hammerheads swimming through the dark blue waters off the Galapagos islands. Feeling like you are flying along a sheer wall along Ni'ihau, Hawaii, then looking up to see a monk seal looking down at you. Shooting video of a very playful and photogenic wolf eel near Vancouver Island. Having an almost religious experience at San Benedicto, Mexico, one on one with a giant manta ray that stayed exclusively with you for over 30 minutes staring at you curiously (yes, that's me peeking from behind that magnificent creature). Following the line from a reel hundreds of feet back inside a cave. Feeling a true sense of History as you glide through a coral-encrusted shipwreck in Truk Lagoon.

These are just a few of the experiences I have had underwater throughout the past dozen years or so. All of them are logged in my logbook, and they will live forever in my mind. There are too many to mention here, and I anxiously look forward to the promise of many, many more wonderful dives to come.

A new chapter is beginning in my life and I welcome this opportunity with open arms. The opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with anyone and everyone who is interested in our website, ScubaDiverInfo.com.

As a certified dive instructor with thousands of dives, I have a deep and ever growing passion for scuba. I am here for you. We are here for you, with information on everything you need to know to get started, and then progress. Here you find the real scoop on all parts of scuba equipment; the physics and physiology behind diving and how it all affects our bodies; wonderful places and creatures to see; our own experiences captured in our blogs -- everything you need to know. We'll work with the industry to bring you the very best, and we'll soon add a forum as well, so we can all talk and share.

Please feel free to contact either of us with any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns. We want this website to be your main source of information about diving beyond your training. The information you will find here is in no way meant to replace a proper certification course through a credible dive shop and instructor. We designed this site to answer questions you may have and to assist in your education of the sport. Our site will be updated daily and it is written by divers for divers.

Below I have listed a few issues that have been common questions by students and fellow divers throughout the years I have been an Instructor. All of these topics and more will be discussed. Keep an eye out for the "Topic of the Week" and feel free to email questions to us, and we will address them in a timely manner. -- Carol

Is SCUBA for you?

  • Health Issues
  • Physical Fitness
  • Expense
  • Age

    Getting Started
    Choosing an Instructor.

    • Do research
    • Ask for references
    • Interview Instructor
    • Questions to ask
    • Referrals
    Choosing a Dive Shop
    • Location and convenience
    • Products and Services offered
    • Staff
    What to buy / What to rent Where to go diving
    • Importance of local diving
    • Beginner diver friendly environments
    • Advanced diver friendly environments
    Choosing a dive buddy
    • Skill level and abilities
    • Attitude
    Continuing Education
  • Beginning Scuba Diver Certification
  • Advanced Scuba Diver Certification
  • Specialty Courses
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Technical Scuba Diver Courses
  • Leadership Training

    Dive Vacations

  • Local Weekend Trips
  • Resort
    • All Inclusive
    • Resort Courses
  • Live Aboards
    • Camping at Sea
    • Luxury
  • Cruises
  • What to take.
  • ScubaDiverInfo Blogs
    Beginning Scuba
    We all have to start somewhere... and the beginnings can be humble. Follow the trials and tribulations of a scuba newbie.
    Expert Scuba
    Experience the wonders of advanced scuba diving with NAUI instructor and expert diver Carol Cotton Walker.
    Web Scuba Diver
    Scuba Questions?
    Do you have any questions about scuba diving? Ask our experts!

    Resort/liveaboard reviews
    Liveaboard: Rocio Del Mar/Sea of Cortez
    Roatan: CoCo View Resort 2011
    Cancun: Riu Palace Las Americas
    Liveaboard: Solmar V/Socorro
    Liveaboard: Caribbean Explorer II
    Liveaboard: Channel Islands
    Cozumel: Wyndham Resort
    Liveaboard: Turks & Caicos Explorer II
    Cozumel: Occidental Grand
    Roatan: CoCo View Resort
    DEMA 2008: Resorts
    Underwater camera reviews
    SeaLife Fisheye Wide Angle Lens
    Panasonic Lumix TS20
    GoPro Hero3 -- first look
    Nikon Coolpix AW100
    Pentax Optio WG-2
    Canon PowerShot D20
    Olympus Tough TG-810
    SeaLife DC1400
    GoPro Hero2 1080p
    LiquidImage VideoMask HD322
    GoPro Hero 1080p
    Olympus E-PL1 with PT-EP01
    Bonica/JVC HD video
    Flip Ultra HD with Ikelite/PRO-V8
    SeaLife DC1200
    ContourHD 1080p with H20V
    Panasonic Lumix TS2
    LiquidImage VideoMask 320
    Olympus E-620 with PT-E06
    Panasonic Lumix TS1
    Canon PowerShot D10
    SeaLife DC1000
    LiquidImage VideoMask 310
    Fujifilm Z33WP
    Bonica Snapper HDDV
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    Olympus 1030 SW
    SeaLife DC600
    SeaLife ECOshot
    Pentax Optio W30
    Olympus Evolt E-330 with PT-E02
    Olympus 770 SW
    Olympus 750 with PT-034 case
    Olympus 740 with PT-034 case
    Olympus 720 SW with PT-033
    Pentax Optio W10
    Casio S500 with EWC-60
    Scuba book reviews
    Caverns Measureless to Man
    Complete Diving Manual
    Deep Descent
    Diver Down
    Diving into Darkness
    Diving Science
    Diving with Sharks
    Dragon Sea
    Eyewitness: Scuba Diving
    Fatal Depth
    Fatally Flawed
    Hiding on the Bottom
    Into the Deepest and Darkest
    Neutral Buoyancy
    No Safe Harbor
    Ocean Gladiator
    Scuba Diving for Dummies
    Sea Salt
    Setting the Hook
    Shadow Divers
    Shipwreck Hunter
    The Blue Edge
    The Cavern Kings
    The Devil's Teeth
    The Last Dive
    The Silent World
    Yucatan Deep
    Helpful stuff
    Dive Tables explained
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