How I Got Interested in Diving
I had always loved spending time in water, first in pools, then the ocean. Growing up in California the ocean was always acessible. In college I even started surfing. I wasn't too great, but I enjoyed the time anyway.Then in 2015 I went snorkeling for the first time and I was amazed, by the underwater wildlife, the techniques and the otherworldly scenery. Just two weeks after snorkeling for the first time I had signed up for a diving certification class.
An Introduction to SCUBA Diving
SCUBA is the acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Aparatus. This means everything you need to breath and survive underwater is attached to you and moves with you as you swim along.
In early forms of diving, divers dressed in watertight rubber suits with brass helmets and walked along the bottom of the water. A hose attached to their helmets pumped air down from the surface for them to breath. This is not a self contained form of diving, and often lead to horrific deaths. In some cases the water pressure was so strong that the rubber suits (and the divers along with it) were squished into the metal helmet. Mythbusters tested this and showed that it really did happen! Here is some more info on that experiment.
This form diving is called third lunging. This is when a diver's air supply is at the surface, on a boat or often kayak, instead of being attached to them underwater. However, in SCUBA diving everything is attached to you. Your air supply, the hoses you need to breath from the air supply, the bouyancy compensator used to ascend and descend in the water as well as various guages to measure water depth and air pressure.
A Bit About Freediving
Freediving is when a diver uses a minimal amount of gear when diving. Often just a mask. Freediving is cheaper than SCUBA diving and accessible to much more people. A freediver can use a snorkle to better prepare for dives, weights and fins for faster decents and a wetsuit to protect against the cold.