“The more I know, the more I realize that I don’t really know that much!”
A famous saying by Socrates, founder of western philosophy.
Onboard SY Blowing Bubbles, we did change this saying:
The more we dive during our world trip, the more we realize that we haven’t really seen that much yet of our ‘blue’ planet.
Many times during our past life traveling, mainly using airplanes and getting quickly from place to place, we have met many professionals claiming that the upcoming dives we were embarking on with them were going to be the best in the world.
What makes us say these words?
How can we use these words when all we have seen is just a minor fraction of the ocean?
When changing these words to a more conservative level, you could get at:
“These dive sites are the best I have seen in my life…”
In this case, the question changes to ‘what’ that person has seen during their scuba trips so far in their life. Where have they been diving, and how much did they ‘absorb’ during their dives? Clearly, a more interesting question as this requires a more in-depth conversation with that person to understand ‘what’ he stands for, what he saw, what he experienced.
But next, there is that 2nd level of philosophy: taste!
Can you argue about ‘taste’? We should know that we can’t.
Some scuba divers like larger ocean creatures; others thrive on smaller critters and get all excited about the smallest (and generally most stunning and colorful) nudibranchs.
So, when traveling to your next scuba destination, do you have your bucket list made up of what to expect from that destination? On what did you ‘base’ your bucket list?
Did you do some serious research or simply get some information by seeing promotional posts on social media in passing? Or was it during a visit to a local dive show that you got some new vibes about a place, or maybe was it the testimonials from fellow scuba divers who were fortunate enough to be diving at that destination before you did?
On what ‘taste’ do we base our next travel plans? How do we decide where to travel next?
I guess one criterion is easy enough: €€€ or $$$ also called the budget! But those criteria are not based on taste but rather on possibilities. So we are back at ‘taste’!
How do we develop a certain taste for what we would like to see during our scuba adventures? Much scientific research is conducted about acquiring a taste. However, there is one item that drew my attention: remoteness!
The more ‘unreachable’ something seems to be, the more we like to believe that it has to be something very special!
So, that brings me back to my earlier part, when I wrote about my earlier travels by airplane in which you cover thousands of miles in several hours to get to your next scuba destination. Do you know that I even kept a record when traveling each year to Bonaire? The record was “the time” needed to get from the airplane touching down on Bonairian soil to be submerged with a scuba tank in the sea.
My record stands at a meager 45 minutes; just imagine: touchdown airplane, taxiing the airplane down the runway, exit airplane, customs clearance, picking up luggage, getting into a taxi to the hotel/accommodation, buying the obligated marine park tag, setting up scuba gear (unpacking it first from the luggage) and finally jumping into the ocean! Bonaire was just one of those yearly destinations ‘we dove.’ Bonaire became just another dive.
But now, life has changed! We went from fast food to slow cooking, and we went from superfast traveling to slow sailing!
As we are onboard our SY Blowing Bubbles, slowly making our way to the Caribbean, I wonder how much more I will be excited to reach Bonaire again over the following months? The record time that I kept trying to improve all those years isn’t that important anymore! Will my taste in Bonaire have changed during this slow sailing, giving Bonaire a more ‘remote’ feeling?
Will I appreciate the dives that I know all too well?
During my last visit to Tenerife (see my earlier articles in Sources Magazine about this subject), I must admit that this seems to be the case. During my many ‘slow’ dives in Tenerife, I got more and more excited about the dive sites, more and more convinced that I have not seen enough or ‘that much’ of Tenerife, or rather the whole blue planet for that matter.
My bucket list of dive destinations is long, very long, and the more I dive, the longer the list becomes!
But the slower I travel, the more I acquire a better/larger taste for all the places I dive, the more I appreciate the location I currently dive, and the more I realize that I really haven’t seen that much of our blue planet, although reaching now over 100+ countries that I have dived!
Nevertheless, I also realize that there is still much to cover on my ever-increasing bucket list in my limited lifetime, which makes me nervous and impatient.
When I think about all the scuba divers’ anxiously waiting at home, counting down the days towards their next possible dive trip, I become more relaxed, realizing how fortunate I am living on a boat, floating on the ocean above the coral reefs. I realize that all I have to do to shrink that Bonairian record to a few seconds is to grab my already assembled dive set and jump off the SY Blowing Bubbles, submerging me in the next dive, having my Marine Pictolife underwater guide in my hands to gain more marine life knowledge.
As for the extra gained time, I am trying to use it wisely. So, I am sharing my time with supporting NAUI members worldwide, meeting them, listening to them, and trying to find answers to help them. But also, I am paying attention to conservation projects (I must admit mostly ocean-related) and trying to reach out to them and give them a helping hand. In this magazine, you will find one of these projects about a super cool turtle project in Cape Verde Islands, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, set up by Dive Tribe Mindelo, Sao Vincente.
As our trip continues over the nautical miles to come, we will stay open to these projects and continue caring and sharing.
If we do not have a moment to stop and see the best moments of life passing in front of our eyes while scuba diving the most pristine reefs formed on our blue planet by mother nature by simply using scuba gear… then how many other things are we missing as we rush through life?
Jean-Marc Claes & Karen Erens
SY Blowing Bubbles
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