I saw this tweet from PADI, and it got me thinking about how groups of divers can become like families.
I think a part of it might be, simply, that you have groups of people who really enjoy doing the same thing. You spend a lot of time together before your dives, during your dives, and after your dives. Like close friends, you probably share a few adult beverages afterward. You become as much like family, over time, as you do with your closest friends.
However, I think there’s more to it than that.
You are not just friends, you are dive buddies. More so than with your land-based friends, you watch out for each others’ safety. You warn each other about dangerous marine life. You watch out for signs of distress. You are prepared to share your life-sustaining air supply, if needed.
The more I have trained, the more I associate scuba diving with being in the military. There are many similarities. And, like battle buddies, wingmen, or what have you, dive buddies are people who take our very lives into their own hands when bad stuff happens. You rely on them to be there when you need them, just like family.
In the military, you end up referring to many people as “brothers” and “sisters.” I can see how that can happen in scuba diving, as well.
Actually, because of an age disparity, I have already observed two divers refer to each other as “uncle” and “nephew” even though they are not on each others’ family trees….