Friday, June 24, 2011

Why do you dive?

Often people will ask, "What is there to see down there?" or "That looks like a lot of work, is it really worth it?"

After a year and a half, it's still worth it just for the amazing thrill of breathing under water. Even if a dive is barren and boring, the simple act itself makes it worthwhile. I've spoken to divers with thousands of dives who say the same thing. I hope that feeling never abates.

But there are miracles even larger and more stunning to be seen. Divers in the PNW marvel at the Giant Pacific Octopus; we love to find them, and consider it a great dive even if all we see is a few suckers on the curve of a tentacle inside a cubby hole under a boat. "We saw an octo!" is the cry of the triumphant aquatic warrior.

Scot reminds us, as once again octos start sitting with eggs, with this repost of a video by Seeing In Green that shows the amazing hatching of thousands of baby GPOs. It is stunning and bittersweet; the mother octo, at just a few years old, will lay her eggs, and from that point on stay with them for 3-4 months to arrange them, protect them, and flush water over them. She doesn't eat, and over the time she watches them, she weakens, turning from the familiar deep red to a pink and then ashen gray. After they hatch, she dies.  Her work gives birth to thousands of little babies, and out of that batch perhaps 3-4 will live to maturity (that's what I've read, anyway).

Diving always centers me in a way nothing else can, and fills me with a perspective on the world that I just can't find elsewhere.

This video also shows one of my favorite dive sites, Alki Cove 2, with the Seattle cityscape in the background. I love Cove 2!

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