Massive planet that we live in. We hardly know the history of this place. Much of the world is unexplored, and hardly any of the seas have been thoroughly explored. The most foreign places on this planet, are what lies below the water’s surface as we venture out into the open oceans. We can see what lies ahead, the islands and shores of many giant land bodies, but our technology has not thoroughly allowed us to uncover the truths of the water.
We do know that at some point in time, our great ancestors were a water species. As the change of species began to develop, and our closer ancestors started to walk out of the water on land, the water still was a massively important facet of their existence, as it is with practically every animal, since H2O is an important component of every species’ survival methods (Well, just about all animals, see here). But what is it that other than the drinking of water that has constantly driven us back time and time again to the feelings of being in the water, especially the large bodies.
Swimming pools are great, and I’m glad that I had the chance to grow up with a swimming pool in my backyard, many friends with swimming pools, and many chances to go swimming at water parks and the public swimming pools around various areas. Yet, nothing has ever compared to my experiences swimming in ponds, creeks, rivers, lakes, and especially the ocean. There is something about larger bodies of water than our swimming pools that just feel so significantly more in tune with the realities of natures.
Growing up, gave me many opportunities to play in the waves at the ocean, and even take a boat out a few hundred yards into the water. These experiences are pale in comparison to my first visit to Maui, an island of the State of Hawaii, and the explorations that took place around that island.
Having never been to Hawaii, and never outside of the continental United States for that matter, I was quite ignorant to the vast array of species that were out there that I had not seen of at the time. On this trip, the second day we were there, we were going to hop on a boat to go scuba diving on the land formed by the volcanoes underneath the surface of the water around and underneath the Hawaiian islands.
Once on the boat, we began a long trek from the shores of Maui. This was my first time actually ever leaving the mainland on a boat for such a great distance. As we started getting miles away from the land, it finally hit me just how much water there is that covers the Earth. I always knew that about 3/4 of the Earth is made up of water, what I didn’t know was that feeling of water being an overwhelming force.
It was a foggy day leaving Maui on that boat, and as we spent a few minutes trekking our way across the water, the visibility of the island quickly began to fade, and the feelings of being alone the open water actually became pretty strong. It was just my family, and another couple along with two boat people who were running the diving. As we arrived to our first point, we hooked up all of our gear, and were told that there were sea turtles just beneath us.
My first time leaving the boat and hopping in the ocean was a reality shattering experience to say the least. As soon as I jumped into the water with my goggles and scuba gear on, I had my first real look underwater at the vast ocean that covers our planet. It was about 20 feet deep at the spot, and sea turtles were swimming around along with a wide variety of odd looking fish. As I looked under water, I could actually see a further distance underneath the surface than I even could above the surface, quite strange feeling if I must say.
Being underwater with these foreign creatures to me was weird. I started to think about how my ancestors were once some of these animals ancestors as well. It gave me this sense of relativity where I started to relate to the animals on a deep level psychologically. I had this experience of connection to those local animal that were beside me underwater. We shared in this experience far from the shores of land masses together. We were one with the ocean, only a boat separated us.