At the end of every dive we would venture into what is known as “The Blue”.
You slip away from the reef, and let the currents take you out into open ocean. You are quickly over 6,000 feet of depth, miles from any nearest land source, and in eighty feet of water. It is a form of sensory deprivation, surrounded by three hundred and sixty degrees of monotone, rich, empty blue. All of your senses are diluted because of submersion, you are weightless, and very exposed.
It is a very vulnerable feeling.
But this is where magic happens, as although you can’t see them, the wildlife several miles beyond your scope know that you are here, and are on their way.
Sharks in numbers which won’t be a sight in five years, dolphins playfully teasing your clumsiness, a 40 foot whale shark passing through, or a solitary turtle cruising past - all are on the biggest highway on the planet. What makes these encounters so incredibly special, is that it is always the animals who have decided to spend their time to investigate you. They may be timid or bold, but they are here because they are curious. Sometimes they stay for a only a moment, sometimes for twenty minutes or longer. You never know what the gift will be, or how long it will stay, but always in the blue it is a gift.
In some ways this is very passive, as all you can do is remain still and wait, staring into an empty void of blue. You manage your expectations by continuously scanning above, below, and around you for a shadow, a glimmer - anything that breaks up the featureless horizon, just waiting to receive whatever comes your way. There is absolutely no action which can be taken which will alter an outcome; you have to let go of all control.
In reality, blue water diving is anything but passive. You have to be willing to expose yourself to the epitome of the ocean - vast expanse - there is no reef, wall, or ocean floor for visual reference or an appearance of security.. This is the unknown - and anything can come your way here. There is nothing to be afraid of, as that’s not how the ocean works, only a thirsty anticipation of the possibilities. The work is to remain present for long periods of time in nothingness, and manage expectations of an outcome.
The absolute best dives I have ever done in my career have always been in The Blue. The encounters are the unicorn kind, where they are so magical that you will remember every detail like a movie for the rest of your lifetime.
For me, the magic of the blue is a metaphor In the benefit of allowing yourself to be vulnerable and exposed. Much of the magic in life happens just outside of comfort zones.