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“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
- Jacques Cousteau

My diving story

I have been diving since 2013, when I began PADI open water certification on a vacation to the Dominican Republic. Within minutes of the first open water dive on a tropical reef, I was intoxicated by what I saw. I simply didn’t expect to see so much color and life in such a seemingly unremarkable spot off the coast, as if these images were reserved for BBC Planet Earth camera crew. Undeterred by the cold, murky waters off Connecticut, I completed my certification in Stonington, CT later in 2013.

Since 2013, I’ve completed 55 dives and have since completed the PADI advanced open water and enriched air (nitrox) certifications.

Diving as an excuse to travel

As if traveling isn’t fun enough, diving provides an excuse to travel to some of the most beautiful places on Earth. I’ve dived with incredible people from all around the world, some of whom I’m still in touch with today.

Diving Locations

Dominican Republic
Stonington, Connecticut
Oahu, Hawaii
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Kona, Hawaii
Okinawa, Japan
Kerama Islands, Japan
Phuket, Thailand
La Jolla, California
San Diego, California

Perspective on macro vs. micro

In April 2016, I traveled to Palau for a week of diving. The macrofauna and biodiversity of the reefs around Palau are breathtaking and likely among the best diving locations in the world. When the dive guide presented the plan of the week and there were several repeat dives at the same sites, I was initially skeptical. I had flown all this way and wanted to explore as much of the islands as possible. The first day of diving adjusted my attitude: the dive sites were so rich with life that I could have spent a week at each site and still not have seen everything. Each dive was exciting, and even at the repeat sites, no dive was the same, as new wildlife were present that hadn’t been before, due to time of day and feeding habits.

My next dive trip after Palau was to Okinawa, Japan, which is also famous for its stunning dive sites. However, on my first dive of the trip, I ended the dive feeling disappointed. Palau had completely desensitized me, and if it wasn’t pristine, first-rate corals teeming with fish, rays, and sharks, I wasn’t impressed. As I was sipping an instant coffee on the boat during the surface interval, I reflected on the disappointment I was feeling. Acknowledging that I could not have Palau-level expectations on every dive site in the world (and that I was being a bit of a snob), I shifted gears and challenged myself to find beauty in ocean, regardless of my surroundings. On the next dive, I focused exclusively on microfauna, and my wonder at the undersea world was reignited. Countless small creatures, from nudibranchs to tiny crabs, were everywhere, offering an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of aquatic life at an intimate scale.

I will leave any allegorical extrapolation to poets and philosophers; what I know is that I now enjoy every dive I go on.