I had an interesting realization while diving in Utila – it is sometimes more rewarding to “Let it be”.
Our dive boat left Alton’s Dive Shop at 8 AM with a contingent of very experienced divers. Our first dive was at a site called “Black Hills“, a seamount located 1.5 km southwest of Utila. This is considered to be one of the best dive sites on the Island. The site consists of solitary rock formation in the middle of an otherwise flat seabed. This seamount is a perfect spot to attract sea life. The coral is healthy and there are large amounts of reef and schooling fish.
One of our fellow divers, Steve (a self confessed “Fish Nerd”), is a very experienced diver and a volunteer surveyor for the Reef organization. REEF’s mission is to promote the conservation of marine habitats and is accomplished primarily through the Volunteer Survey Project.
Having done volunteer reef surveys in the Philippines I was most impressed with Steve’s encyclopedic knowledge of the fish life we encountered.
What was interesting about this dive was despite my scientific education, a career in engineering , and some training in reef species identification, I resisted the urge to join Steve ataching names to each fish I saw.
Rather I made the conscious decision to let my analytical mind take a rest, and focus on enjoying the schools of fish swirling around us. To observe the fascinating marine life around us without having a mental commentary playing along.
When my mind is still, and I just “Let it Be”, the colours, the motions, and the richness of the marine environment come to life! I can float with the creatures in the sea, watching them the same way they watch me. This is the Zen of Diving.