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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Beauty in Fear

The surface of the ocean is daunting and seemingly endless, and needless to say, I'm not the biggest fan of it. Sadly, I don't particularly like to surf, and always feel some slight anxiety when I jump in the middle of an ocean from a boat. I'm not sure if Steven Spielberg's Jaws plays a major factor in this fear of not being able to see what's under you but I know one thing for sure, the ocean always remains very mysterious. Every time I plunged in the sea I was primarily worried about jellyfish, sea snakes, sharks, some other ghastly deadly animal, and occasionally sea monsters . With the exception of the arctic seas, I've seen and felt all the different oceans in the world and each hold unique wonders beneath the surface.
Just before my teen years, I decided to face some of my fears by learning how to scuba dive. I thought to myself, if I had the ability to understand and explore what was beneath the surface, maybe I would lose this lurking fear I had whenever I swam in it. I started my training for Open Water Diver in Los Roques, Venezuela during Christmas vacation but because it was such a remote place, the scuba instructor only spoke in Spanish. Also, the book I studied from and final written test itself was Spanish as well. Now I don't speak Spanish, nor understand it well enough to read a thick set of instructions but I caught on fairly quickly. Scuba Diving rules and techniques isn't really all that difficult to grasp but there are many necessary steps to keep yourself from potentially freaking out underwater, like running out of air, or encountering an animal you're not particularly keen of. Better yet, you could accidentally touch something poisonous and go into immediate shock and the first thing you want to do is rush up to the surface. If you succumb to these acts of nervousness while you're more than 40 feet beneath the surface, far greater complications arise when you rise up too quickly. The air tank is filled with Nitrogen gas and though it's dissolved in the bloodstream, it converts back to gas if you come up too quickly (caused by the rapid change in pressure) The nitrogen bubbles rapidly travel along the blood vessels to the heart and cause a heart attack.
There are many rules to obey that prevent you from suffering severe injury or death but if you follow those simple rules and stay calm, there's a whole underwater utopia that keeps you breathless and bedazzled. Once you step in that water and descend into this forest of life you can't help yourself but remain in awe. When I dove in Bora Bora, I was graced with thousands of different species and coral. Hundreds of different fish in all colors, shapes, and sizes swam left and right, schools of Eagle Rays and barracuda that could block your vision, and giant Lemon sharks that lurked beneath and above you silently. But the most remarkable and most beautiful sight were the coral reefs. Their immense variety of colors, glistening against the fragmented shears of light in the water, were simply beautiful. Because of these unique and wonderful experiences I've encountered deep beneath the surface, I have continued to upgrade my divers license gaining the ability to dive through wrecks, dive deeper, dive in caves, and dive at night. I just hope that we don't kill our oceans before I grow old because I can't get enough of it.

- Mortimer Canepa


Anonymous Jordan Bunger said...

Real interesting Mortimer, great job with the descriptive language

March 30, 2011 at 2:34 AM  
Blogger Editorial Staff said...

Your descriptive writting helped me see your thoughts. Manking this piece interesting and insightful. Good job.

-Yenitza Munoz

April 6, 2011 at 12:11 AM  

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