Hello world ~ after a sudden and mysterious absence due to a Scientific Diver and Rescue Course, I am back! In light of the 100 hours I spent diving, studying, and training in the ocean, desperately trying to expand my skills in this mysterious underwater world, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on my remarkable incompetence in the ocean.
Incompetence is not what one would expect following 100 hours of studying and diving in 6 inch visibility, alongside my pre-existing aquatic passions ~ yet it does not matter how much training, expertise, and knowledge one acquires. While I like to think my dedication and experience has made me a relatively proficient waterwoman, I will forever look like an incompetent pool toy next to the creatures who call the ocean home.
Which is why freediving with marine wildlife is, and will continue to be, one of my favorite ocean activities ~ because I have yet to find something that is more humbling and humiliating. As my mind bursts with adoration and enthrallment, my presence is mere comical relief for the animals I’m so overjoyed to swim with. My mind screams “I LOVE YOU” for 2 hours straight, while their minds ask how such an incapable floating blob has survived so long in the water.
It’s absolutely fantastic. There is no better feeling in the world than to be surprise greeted by a sea lion, or feel your proficient swimming skills dissipate in its wake. It doesn’t matter if I complete every single one of NAUI’s countless, overpriced certifications or study the ocean forever ~ sea lions will always out-swim me, and I will never be as graceful as even the most deadbeat kelp bass. I’m a small fish in a big ocean (literally) ~ that is filled with incredible creatures who shame my collection of NAUI certification cards in unimaginable, breathtaking ways.
Aside from all the reasons I love the ocean, that has to be the most powerful one. I feel so honored that these creatures welcome me into their world ~ overlooking our extreme differences, and my blaring incompetence ~ to not only humble me, but show how positive experiences result from embracing uncomfortable situations and dissimilar individuals. That something actually wants to interact ~ and play with ~ the most destructive species on the planet (us) is completely beyond me. No amount of training can diminish or surpass these gratifying experiences ~ which is why 100 hours later, I’m still just as vulnerable, insignificant, and tiny as I was before, and I absolutely love it.
Perhaps the ocean exists to humble humanity.