Ambassadors of the “The last Frontier”
Recently, I was diving in Roatan on a boat with a group of divers from a shop in San Antonio, Texas. I wasn’t part their group, as a rule I tend to stay in the back of the pack out of the way. I do this, so I don’t impede on their group gathering. AS a dive professional, I can’t help but watch over divers like a mother hen caring for her babies.
What I witnessed was both shameful and comical at the same time. The dive master would bang on his tank to get the groups attention because of a “sighting” every diver would race to see the sea animal discovered. Almost as if it were the starting line of the great race! At, one point a turtle was spotted, the infamous “bang, bang, bang” happened, ten divers converged on this poor turtle and chased after him relentlessly. The turtle in fear of his life, (probably thinking he is the prey being hunted) swam hard and fast to try to get away. Soon though, he was “surrounded” by ten divers all taking photos. Strobes going off, video lights so bright the turtle must still be blinded or at the very least seeing spots. Shortly after, one diver with his Gopro on a selfie stick was chasing this poor Rainbow Parrot fish. The fish was going as fast as possible with this dumbass “Gopro diver” right on his tail. Poor fish was darting around and through the reef trying to get away. Finally, the diver ran out of energy and gave up. I’m sure he was able to capture the video he was seeking. But at what cost? How about as “ambassadors of the last frontier” we change it to “take only non-invasive pictures, and leave only bubbles”? There’s a reason why the greatest underwater photographers move very slowly when approaching their subject. Not only does it not scare the subject, it saves energy, uses less air, and increases your bottom time-based on-air time remaining.
Dive Safe, Dive Often!