When I was a small boy I loved everything deep-space-related. And then came SF: Space 1999, Blakes 7, Star Trek, Star Wars, the Moonshots...As soon as I realised that wherever you are in my Lisbon you're no more than around 10km from a completely alien planet that I could explore myself in my own "space suit". I was utterly hooked and have been ever since. I discovered Scuba Diving many eons ago, with a couple of discovery dives in Republica Dominicana. After that I was so taken with Scuba Diving that I got my BSAK qualification right afterwards. And then my Nitrox certification.
When I go Scuba Diving I'm always anticipating enjoying the sea-life; it's always a wonder when the hypnotic, floating, slo-mo world temporarily changes my sense of existence. Some talk about the supposed "silence"; I disagree though; one of the biggest surprises for me is always the mesmeric slow-core soundscape: my own breathing, waves, and other more enigmatic sounds. Or perhaps it's just ear wax. Off rocky shores, the underwater echoes of the booming of surf against coast are also wonderful. On one dive I was just content to sit on the seabed at around dinner time and just let it all soak it. The sealife weren't peturbed at all, they came and had a sniff and a look then wandered off; beautiful.
I particularly loved night dives. Try no lights at 20 meters, apart from the abundant bio-luminescence, neutral buoyancy and you might be in space. The only way you can tell "up" is to feel where the bubbles are going. I once fell asleep whilst parked on the bottom during a dive, (woops!) It really is a calming environment. My comprehensive BSAK and Nitrox training included breathing from "leaking" hoses and regulators, buddy breathing, taking off and putting on all equipment including mask at depth and surfacing from depth under various conditions. Oh, and chasing stingrays is like self-nominating for the Darwin Awards.
NB: All pictures taken by me.