Diving at night is a fascinating experience, both physical and spiritually. It´s a completely different world than the one when diving during the day. Fish of all colors and sizes, crabs, corals, and many other magnificent creatures fill the ocean. The light of the sun nourishes everything; but most of all, all these animals feel safe. They can see and feel if they are in danger, they swim in big groups, called a school of fish. They eat, thrive, and investigate all of their surroundings. The ocean brims with life and color.
At night, it is a completely different environment. Predators, who have been sleeping during the day, wake up, looking for their next meal. It is the normal and wonderful balance of Nature at its best. Predators clean the oceans of dead fish or other creatures. But more important of all, they don´t kill their victims for cruelty. They do it to survive and take only what is necessary to see another day. Cruelty is a world that doesn´t exist in Nature. And I learn so much from it…
We, humans, have a normal fear to the dark. It is in our genes. It´s part of our evolution as a race. But that normal fear has nothing to do with the fear created by the society we live in. Many will remember that when the saw the Hollywood film “Shark” they would think twice to get into the ocean. I have stopped counting how many shark films have been done, because there is nothing further from reality. Besides white sharks and one or two other aggressive sharks that confuse humans with their normal feeding habits and attack them, thinking that humans are sea-seals, everything else you have heard of sharks is just the imagination of Hollywood. Fear of fear itself, and nothing else.
It´s night. A beautiful moon shines in the sky. The beach is empty. I love it that way. I can meditate in silence and prepare myself for what is to come. I check my powerful night-torches, put my fins, my snorkel, and a thin wetsuit to protect me from the cold. I start to climb the stairs that will take me to that world where I belong. It´s pitch dark! I get used to the temperature of the ocean, turn on my torches and gently dive in the salty water. No noise, no cars, no cell-phones, just my true spirit and nature bond as one. For how can I fear what I have learnt not to fear?
I start to move away from the coast. Some people stare me from the boardwalk, filming this crazy guy getting into the sea at midnight. Hope one day they will be able to see and experience what I am about to.
I am now in the middle of the ocean. Serendipity is what I feel and love. The soft currents take me towards some deep rock formations. Suddenly I can see a school of barracudas, trying to surround some fish covered in the crevices of the rocks. They stare at me, with no interest at all. I keep moving, and suddenly a giant manta-ray lingers in the bottom of the ocean. She must be 3 meters long! I take three deep breaths of air, and down I go. First decompression at 5 meters, second at ten. I gently touch her. She welcomes me, for she feels no fear of me. The next 15 minutes is a mix of playing together and let him her look for the food she needs. Finally, we stare at each other´s eyes and say goodbye. Until next time, my friend.
I spend almost two hours in the water. Octopuses of all colors and sizes, calamari changing colors every second, predator fish and sea-stars nourish themselves with scraps of dead animals and others alive. The odd sea-turtle can be seen eating algae. My torches´ safety light turns yellow. It´s time to return. I swim slowly towards the coast, exhausted but amazed of the wonder that surrounds me, and the lack of fear. I finally reach the stairs and get out of the water. I am free. Happiness cannot describe what my heart feels. It feels that I am living, rather than existing: the biggest achievement of my humble life.
Live in the here and now. Tomorrow will take care of itself, if you still dream of new adventures to feed your soul. Today is what counts. And today has been a day worth living…a dreamer…