Ocean Diving by Chris Greising.
I’ve missed ocean diving. For the last 8 months, besides the very rare trip to the Florida Keys or Atlantic Coast, I had been relegated to diving fresh water springs in the heart of horse country Florida. Most any diving is good diving but there is nothing like exploring a sunken wreck or diving on a reef that’s teeming with life and color.
I got lucky too, getting the chance to come work here in the Philippines. When it comes to marine variety it doesn’t get much better than the Philippines! And here in Cebu we are located right smack dab in the heart of the Coral Triangle. For those who are unfamiliar with this geographic location, the Coral Triangle is home to the highest concentration of marine life diversity in the world. Earlier today I was diving with two students at the Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary (SMS) and in just two square meters I saw a Stone Fish, a couple of Lion Fish, a Snowflake Moray Eel, and a type of Nudibranch called Anna’s Chromodoris. While in the Florida springs I would see a catfish (a rather large catfish I’ll give it that), a soft-shelled turtle, and lots of rocks. And that would be every dive.
Needless to say, I have missed ocean diving very much.
The two students I had with me today are brother and sister Mats and Evy, on vacation from the Netherlands or Holland, one of the two.* Either way, they were Dutch, I do know that. They are both very good kids, Mats is on the national golf team and Evy is on the national tennis team. I had a sense I would be watching them winning Grand Slams and Major Tournaments in the near future and I’ll be able to say, “I taught them how to scuba dive!” Perhaps they’ll even be in the Olympics for their sports, I’ll just have to look in both the Netherlands and Holland delegations to try and spot them.*
Though I have missed ocean diving immensely, there is one thing that I miss about working at a local dive shop. Here when my students are finished with their course they fly back to their respective countries. I can only hope that they come back one day and perhaps take a specialty class or come out for a dive or two with me. But unfortunately more time than not they never will. While at a local dive shop they usually live close by so I was able to continue teaching them and diving with them. Basically it is always sad to have to say goodbye to a guest after getting the opportunity to share their vacation with them, in this case diving, something I love so much. On the other hand, I greatly enjoy getting to meet people from all over the world, so it’s a bit of a catch-22 I suppose. But on the whole I’m very happy to be here and looking forward to meeting my next guests.