It starts long before we step onto the planet: the sense of anticipation; the gnawing expectancy that disturbs our sleep; the knowledge thet we are heading somewhere new, where we will awake at dawn and stare down at the sea, conscious that we will find there.
That`s the thing about diving, you just never do know. You can`t possibly predict that on Friday lunchtime you will be gazing up at a juvenile whaleshark, a fish taht`s over three times your ownbody length. Or that, as dusk gathers on Tuesday, you`ll be eyening a murderous pair of harlequin shrimp, amongst the smallest creatures in the sea, as they eat a starfish alive.
We have memories that are as vivid as the day they happened: mental polaroids of awesome moments in time. Like nearly touching a deadly blue ringed octopus while pointing out a nudibranch, or lying flat on the sand eyeball to eyeballwith a pregnant male seahorse, or instinctively holding out a hand to a cuttlefish which then swam onto the upturned palm and squeezed gently, or the day we finally, finally got to play with a pod of spinner dolphins. Although we think they probably played with us.
It`s not hard to understand why we fell so deeply for this lark. It`s an excuse to explore some of the of the planet`s least discovered places, far away from the normal tourist routes, where the only other people you see are those you came with. Diving is in our blood, like an addictive drug.