Why Team Blue Immersion believe expeditions and exploration is so important for all technical divers
The definition of technical diving is pretty straight forward. It is defined simply as a diver who enter an overhead environment like a cave or a wreck. It is when you are diving with mixed gases and cant go straight up to the surface due to decompression obligations. That’s the basic idea of it at least.
But is that really the definition of technical diving? Perhaps so in technical terms. For me however its stands for so much more. Technical diving for me is more about the possibilities the equipment and training offer. To be able to explore a world beyond most.
For me there always been a pararell between space and underwater explorations. Lot of the technical challenges space explorers face is also faced by a technical diver. We are both entering in an environment different than the one that we evolved into living in. Less people dived deeper than 300 meters than walked on the moon.
I believe it is a part of being human to explore and try to push the established boundaries. But is there any value of “just walking on the moon” or “just diving deep” you might ask yourself. For me it is because the process of doing so, we discover as much about our self as we are developing techniques useful not only in our own field, but in other fields as well. Perhaps a greater understanding how gases effects the human body in extreme environments and the development of rebreather technology used by divers might one day assist the first humans habitat other planets.
But space and underwater explorers have so much more in common than purely the technical. Both groups of explorers share an idea, a philosophy. It could be said that by not continuing to explore we face the risk of killing the spirit of adventure and by doing so something fundamental within us would also die. Exploration is what inspire us to greater things and to move mankind forward. It gives us hope and meaning.
The environmental movement started with pictures taken of our blue planet from space by the first space explorers. First then did we realize how fragile our planet is and why it is so important to act now to prevent us from destroying all the beauty that took millions if not billions of years to evolve.
My hope is that our pictures and videos from the depth of the oceans and lakes would inspire people in the same way as those pictures taken from space. Marcel Proust said “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes“. The ocean takes up more than 75% of our planet. The ocean got an average depth of 3000 meters and is the home of a larger biodiversity and bio density than the rain forest. You find the longest mountain range in the ocean. Most animals live here, and it is mostly unexplored. During our expedition in Iceland in June 2011 we dived and filmed geothermal chimneys, discovered first in 1989. Many believe that it was in chimneys like those where life once began. Life around those chimneys survives through chemo-syntesis rather than photo-synthesis which means that all the life supporting energy is coming from the inside of the earth rather than the sun. Our hope is that our images from places like the chimneys on Iceland would give people those new eyes that Marcel Prost referred to. And with those new eyes have a better understanding how unique and fragile the underwater landscape is. By seeing all the wonders and beauty that lies beneath perhaps we also would also realize that benefit of protecting it.
I remember as a little boy sitting by the lake close to the house where I grew up. I looked down, and I was wondering, what was down there. I wanted to explore it. Today I am able to do just that and for me that is one of the things that makes life worth living. Exploration gives us hope that the future can be better, for us and for future generations.
Jonas Samuelsson, Team Blue Immersion