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Scuba Diving Stories


A scuba diver descends through blue water.

Diving is like flying underwater!

© istockphoto.com

A few years ago, I had a diving epiphany. Without realizing exactly when or how, I had fallen into a state of extreme relaxation. I didn't know diving could feel so effortless. I was barely moving, just drifting, hanging in the current with no tension in my muscles. Without consciously controlling my depth with my BCD or breathing, my level in the water was absolutely stable. I found a moment of infallible, perfect buoyancy.

The feeling of truly effortless neutral buoyancy has to be my favorite aspect of diving. Whether I am in a cave, the ocean, or a swimming pool, it is the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced. To leave gravity behind and be perfectly comfortable, to transcend the terrestrial world and fly - it gives me goosebumps.

I still can not reach the point of perfect buoyancy during every dive. It seems that the more I concentrate, and the more effort I make, the harder it is to find. If I am fighting a current or chasing after naughty divers I almost never get to that perfect point. The key to finding perfect buoyancy is to relax.

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Try it on a dive. Get as neutral as you can and then just float. Breathe in. Breath out. Relax all your muscles. Don't swim, don't kick, just float. Try to slow your breathing. Make small adjustments to your BCD if you need to, but then relax again. Focus on fish, the pool tile, or other surroundings. It takes practice, experience, and effort to get close to perfect buoyancy. But while it is an essential step, working at your buoyancy will only get you so far.

I have found that once you have spent enough time underwater training for neutral buoyancy, your muscle memory will take over. The trick is to relax, clear your mind, stop fighting, and let it happen naturally. More than any other element of diving, I love this zen state of absolute weightlessness. It makes me feel that between the bubbles and the currents, moving freely in three dimensions, I have finally found my place.

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