Going down with Mister Chad
I can completely understand the
desire for silence. Finding peace and tranquillity must rate No.1 in anyones book.
In fairness, sound certainly has its advantages and can be a very emotive form of
communication. From wailing whales to whinging wives, sound certainly gets the message
across. Moreover, where would we be without good old Rock and Roll? Imagine a world where
mp3 simply didnt exist. A world where one would never know the sound of a child
innocently laughing, or the lobalob of a V8 on tickover. There would be no radio industry.
No revving of motorbikes or screeching of tyres. Such things of art and beauty would be
completely omitted from our lives and vocabulary. I mean, what would you call a lesser
spotted tree warbler if you couldnt hear it warble? How would you know the microwave
had finished if you couldnt hear the ping? Apart from being speechless, one could
starve! It would be so depressing that you could write a Blues number about it, but no-one
would hear it.
We are used to noise, in all its shapes
and forms, both beautiful and annoying, yet somehow almost unaware of its existence due to
its ubiquitous presence. The complete contrast upon entering the silent world below the
waves is breathtaking. Ah-ha. But its not silent, cry the re-breather-ers. You open
circuit people can hear yourself breathe. Those bubbles, they make one hell of a noise.
Sucking all that gas in and then blowing it out into the sea. So wasteful too. And those
great big metal tanks you wear on your back, they snigger. You dont look at all like
a yellow turtle. I would imagine theres a well attended internet forum somewhere out
there in the ether, with users called Evoman, Desperation and Megladeath, spending their
sad, lonely evenings in deep discussion about not only international sofnalime prices, but
also decibel ratings abuse by the common open circuit hordes. Not my scene at all.
Personally, I dont really want to look like a yellow turtle and I certainly like to
hear myself breathe. Its somehow re-assuring. Heartbeats I can barely detect, even
on a good day, but I find breathing is pretty indicative of good health. And, if it stops,
you know theres a problem. In fact I can clearly remember the last time I was aware
that Id stopped breathing. I even have it documented on video, but since Tiger
Sharks at 50 metres were involved I hope PADI will forgive me for not breathing, just this
The only true way to dive silently is free diving but even that isnt guaranteed. Imagine taking a really deep breath, then another ten, and diving down into the dark blue depths below, where sound and light are lost to your senses. Just when you thought youd found ultimate peace and tranquillity, a place where noise pollution simply didnt exist, a pair of yellow turtles swims past complaining about the price of sofnalime. Theres no justice.