One of the top three things on your Bucket List’s is going on a Scuba dive, swimming amongst the fishes and breathing under water, it’s 100% on our Bucket List and that’s why we reached out to lifelong Scuba diver Henry Hall. It’s an epic interview and well worth a read, Henry thanks for getting involved, this is what he had to say:
- Can you remember your first scuba dive and what was it like?
HH – Yes, I was about 11 or 12 years old when I performed my first dive. I was in the Caribbean with my family and we decided to participate in a scuba diving excursion. I did not like the experience much, I was very uncomfortable. Not with being in the water but due to the ill-fitting equipment. The BCD didn’t fit well, weight belt was awkward, and the tank was far too big. In retrospect and based on what I’ve learned over time about scuba diving operations. I don’t think many dive shops had gear sized for kids in the 80’s.
I later picked up diving again as a young adult and my experiences were much better. No issues with equipment fit. I was finally able to focus on enjoying the underwater beauty most people only experience through pictures and video.
- What’s the most interesting thing for you about scuba diving for you?
HH – Scuba diving interests me in several ways:
1- Travelling to new places to dive allows me to meet many different people from all walks of life who all have a passion for diving. It’s always interesting to learn about people in between dives. Divers can be quite social especially on multiple tank dive trips during surface intervals.
2- I have also developed a passion for underwater photography and videography. It’s quite challenging to take quality images underwater in varying conditions like current, temperature, and anticipating animal interaction. The key to taking quality pictures or video is to understand marine life behaviours then you can sometimes anticipate what an animal might be up to. For example, I spent two night dives watching an Eel hunt Damselfish in Bonaire. The Eel was a terrible hunter but for two nights I hung out and waited for him to catch dinner. He finally caught a meal and I captured it on video here – https://youtu.be/GczqiZKaesI
3- And more importantly, it’s quite relaxing to observe the environment underwater especially animal behaviour.
- Have you ever been in danger under the water, what happened?
HH – I’ve gotten lost a few times but I’ve always made it back to my destination. However, I have never been in any serious danger underwater. Before I dive, I create a plan and stick to it. My dive plan outlines maximum depth, dive length and purpose (if I’m looking for something specific.) However, I have helped other drivers when in need. I’ve shared air with other divers when they have run out of air and helped get them to the surface safely.
I have also helped recover a diver who had a fatality during a dive in Belize. I was unsettled by that unfortunate event.
- Can you recall any of the most special moments you’ve had whilst diving?
HH – I had a great time in La Paz Mexico diving with Sea Lions. There is a Sea Lion colony about an hour from La Paz in the Sea of Cortez. I visited shortly after a new generation of Sea Lions were born. The young Sea Lions were gaining their independence and they were quite engaged with our dive group. The would swim up to us and playful investigate us. Some would try to bit our gear and fingers – I think some were teething. By the way, I would never let an adult Sea Lion bite my fingers. Here’s video of my week in La Paz – https://youtu.be/bmRwQAxz31o
- What’s the best location for Scuba diving you’ve ever been to?
HH – That’s a very hard question to answer. There’s a lot of great diving throughout the world. I like the following in no particular order:
Curacao – Fun to be had topside and underwater. Diving is great and touring the historic city is fantastic. They’ve got a floating bridge which is amazing to see in operation.
Bonaire – Great place for year-round diving especially if you enjoy shore diving
Raja Ampat, Indonesia – Biodiversity is amazing from small nudibranchs to gigantic Manta Rays.
La Paz, Mexico – Sea Lions and seasonal Whale Sharks and Hammerheads
Dumaguete, Philippines – I’ve never seen so many different colours of Sea Horse in my life!
The Bahamas – Bull Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, and Caribbean Reef Sharks
Grenada – Great place for wreck diving and it’s the island that inspired me to buy an underwater camera.
- Does Scuba diving get better the more proficient you are at it and how so?
HH – I think diving definitely gets better when you become more confident with your skills. I think when you first start to dive there’s a lot to focus on besides the beauty of the environment. You more concerned with descending & ascending, clearing your ears, and managing your air consumption. Once those skills become second nature, it’s far more enjoyable and relaxing.
- Finally, what’s next on your Bucket List?
HH – In a few weeks, I’m heading to Iceland to dive the Silfra fissure. The Silfra fissure is a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents. I’ll be able to dive between two continental plates. I’m quite excited for this one. I have never dived in cold water or in a dry suit.
Also, I would like to travel Fiji, Egypt (Red Sea), and Galapagos to dive with various Sharks. I’m really getting into diving with Sharks.
And that’s a wrap, that’s what Henry had to say and if If you want to see any of his underwater photography- you can find them here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/djhenryhall/albums and If you need underwater video’s – you can find them here: https://www.youtube.com/c/henryhallnyc, furthermore if this interview has inspired your Scuba diving Bucket List then sing up to our FLUX NEWS Newsletter and get a monthly digest of all our Bucket List interview.