Scuba diving was the safer adventure I was seeking after quitting nearly 10 years of skydiving.
The desire to see that which few others have seen was the big draw for me. A chance to someday dive coral reefs and explore long forgotten ships.
I had decided to go back to school and change careers in 2012 after demining the I.T. field just wasn’t for me.
When signing up for classes during my second semester at Colorado State University I noticed the school offered a scuba diving class.
What better way to learn and get certified then to have my G.I. Bill pay for the class as part of my course work.
I got certified at an underground natural hot spring in Homestead Crater Utah.
Homestead sits inside a unique rock dome with crystal clear water 70 feet deep with temperatures between 90 and 96 degrees even in the winter.
For more experienced divers there are caves to explore that go deeper into the earth which can bring their own level of excitement and danger.
My dive in her seemed like spending a day in Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth surrounded by high rock walls covered in mineral deposits as I descended into the unknown.
One of the biggest thrills of the trip was floating at 30 feet underwater while the lights were turned out for a fellow diver to earn a night diving certification which transformed the caves into a completely different world.
A perfect place to learn the cave was set up with platforms for divers at 15, 30 and 45 feet allowing divers to practice depth control also referred to as buoyancy control.
I followed that class with my advanced dive which was out of Blue Hole N.M. a stark contrast with the surface temperature of the water at 61 degree and much colder at the full 80 feet depth.
Blue Hole is considered a collapsed sink hole fed by 3,000 gallons of fresh water a minute.
There are a total of seven similar sinkhole lakes all fed by the same large underground water supply.
These underwater caves are considered some of the most dangerous caves in the world by many in the diving community and have been closed since claiming the lives of two Oklahoma student divers in 1976.
I continue to seek to adventures and meet new people in the sport of scuba diving.
Darin Hinman is the sports editor for the Grove Sun. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.