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OWSI David Antares

For those of you who have not experienced the feeling of being underwater, here is a story of a morning dive that made me and others believe in how Nature can talk to us in the most exciting and remarkable ways:

It is early in the morning and it's departure time at the dive shop. Everybody is enthusiastic about this dive. I met my dive buddies two weeks ago, and it seems like we have been friends forever. It is probably our devotion for the underwater world, which makes us feel closer.

After checking the equipment and reviewing the dive procedures, we start heading to the dive site, a quiet and unknown place for everybody, except for myself.

We're sitting on the edge of the boat. I can see the smile of everyone. All divers and gear are in position and the upcoming Sunlight signals to me that we are ready to flutter. "One, two, three…let's go!"

We all give our OK signal to the boat captain while a few flying fish glide along the boat's side. The descent begins. We leave our bodies to drop down like leaves of autumn. The water is crystal clear, smooth and absolutely blue. Our dive profile: multilevel, no decompression, max depth 110ft, bottom time 20min.

After spontaneous encounters with some lobsters on the reef section, the Mexican Caribbean welcomes us with a spectacular view:

There they are, at 110ft, four underwater creatures surrounding a Southern Sting Ray, all delineating a perfect circle. The Ray keeps still in the center. A huge Nurse Shark facing an elderly Grouper conforms one half of the ring. Another Nurse Shark chatting with an Angel Fish shapes the other half. Everybody witnessing this sight is excited and astonished. It seems like the five of them are having a conversation about the conservation and future of our seas.

What a mystical symbol. Many thoughts come to our minds. We keep descending until we reach their depth. They stare at us, swim around us and then each vanishes in different directions.

The emotions are strong. We touch the bottom and sit on the bare sand for an instant. We admire the vastness of the profound ocean and observe above the light of sunrise; some would call it "the almighty creation of God".

Our senses are awoken and thrilled by a baby dolphin and her mother who trip far away at the surface. Everything happens so fast. The dive continues.

Three Angel Fish swim in our direction. They draw near and come straight to playfully swallow my exhaling bubbles. They glance at my eyes and just like a Harbor Seal leads her cub, these fascinating creatures guide us towards a full-size old looking Loggerhead.

Nobody is moving at all and yet the graceful turtle keeps approaching. I keep thinking she is going to change bearing, but she steadily swims onward. Now her eyes and mine cross on a distance of just one foot! "Am I dreaming?" The beautiful giant touches my arm with a fin and then kindly levitates around my fellow divers before fading away. What a magical sketch.

Our time is up. As we slowly ascend, the oversize sponges, superb sea fans, and impressive coral formations appear to sparkle with the refracting light of the Sun.

Throughout the safety stop, we give each other's hands while hundreds of glooming Blue Chromis fish detour near by, maybe to express us their gratitude for being harmless, or maybe it is just a coincidence. No matter what, we all are grateful for this unspeakable experience, and in return, our commitment is to respect and protect the unity of our oceans and the creatures that dwell beneath, for them, for us, for others, and for the generations to come.

We all know that the sharing of this day will last in our life beyond time.

A wee later, a similar dive with the Sea Lions of Baja California, Mexico, moved my life once again. But that's another story.

Isn't the creation of life magnificent? Let's protect it before they become extinguished… before WE get extinguished.

David Antares

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