Any place that has a caribou wearing a snorkel mask is worth giving your money and time to. Just sayin’.
After a 30 minute boat ride across waters that started at the Santa Ana Warf as dirty and trashy, but quickly turned in to clear and smooth, we arrived at our first dive spot. I peeled on my dive suit (not my most flattering look ever), was fitted with dual colored flippers and a mask, which, thankfully, did not rip out my nose ring.
Like tandem skydiving, our dive instructors held onto our suits from the back, guiding us around the ocean wonderland. They were in charge of our regulators and pressurizers, and any other buttons and knobs that may have been on that suit. As first time divers, our only instructions were, “breath deeply, and enjoy!” A good philosophy for life. Maybe a new blog name?
I don’t know that I will ever be able to find the words to describe how beautiful it was down there. The first thing that hit me was the array of colors. Even 30 feet underwater, the brilliance of the colors was breath-taking. (which would explain why our instructors told us our only jobs were to breath deeply and enjoy!) Blue starfish that looked like pieces of forgotten rubber, black and red spiky fish, green and white corals, silver shiny fish, fish with bright orange, blue and white spots. Everything was just so bright! And the amount of life down there was astonishing. From the plants, to the corals, the different kinds of fish and other unnameable organisms. It was obvious that everything was working together to keep each other alive. (another good philosophy for life!) I was allowed to touch certain things; we picked up a thick brown starfish bigger than my hand, and my guide handed me something that resembled a fungus-covered, water-logged éclair. We saw a school of fish following some unknown path that they all knew, reflecting rays from the sun through the crystal waters. I felt like I was in the movie Finding Nemo! I saw every type of fish and creature used in that movie, save the sharks! Thank goodness!! We did however, see a black and white stripped snake that my guide did a very good job of steering clear of. There were hundreds of sea urchins lodged in the cracks and crevices of the coral. There were bushels of anemone and some other translucent puffs that I couldn’t identify.
I was just awestruck. There are many times in life that I stand in awe of the creation around me. Mountains that surround and valleys and encompass; perfect sunsets that reflect over a sparkling body of water; varieties of flowers that color the side of highways and open fields; a forest that blocks the sun yet embodies its own sense of warmth. And I always think, “Thank you God for this beautiful bit of creation to enjoy!” I always stand in wonder of these things, this creation, that I can see, touch, smell and hear. But this underwater world – I don’t know that it was meant to be seen. It felt a little bit like I was spying in on some awesome secret as I floated above the coral life. A beautiful, detailed piece of creation that was once hidden. Humans found a way down there – with awkward flippers and regulators and pressurizers and weights and spandex. Down we descended to something that maybe we were never supposed to see in the first place. And I am amazed, because the Creator could have made underwater life all the same drab color, blending into one another. But instead, we witnessed an array of colors like could never be found on land. God didn’t make that for me to enjoy. God made that because the essence of God is beautiful – and therefore all things created are a thing of beauty.