Kate Moulene -
I grew up in Laguna Beach, Calif., a small seaside community, where from sunrise to sunset I remained firmly planted on the shore with my toes deeply buried in the sand.
It wasn't until sleep was unavoidable that I scurried up the gravel cliffs and departed the ocean's side.
My friends called me the Pacific Bunny because I could make it up and down the dunes with frightening and fearless dexterity.
Each morning the water was full of bleach blond surfers waiting to partner with the breaking waves.
While I admired their skill at balancing on skinny planks while gliding over curling liquid, surfers did not hold my attention.
My gaze always fell past the whitecaps out to the never-ending vista that acted as the roof and ridge to the world beneath the surface.
I named this inaccessible place "The Invisible Residence" and longed to explore the secrets of this hidden domain.
But I was afraid. After years of watching lifeguards pluck intrepid tourists from the surf I feared the ocean as much as I loved it.
On busy beach days the locals would take bets on how many "in-landers" would need to be rescued.
A lack of respect for the power of the sea is a dangerous thing for anyone who takes a visitors pass and crosses breakwater.
I passionately wanted to learn to scuba dive, but I understood that my fears could cause panic under the water, and so I was left with an empty longing for a world that I didn't know how to visit.
We live on a planet that we call earth, but really we are a planet of water.
Oceans make up about 70 percent of our world's surface. In the computer, cell, text mania of synthetic reality in which we live it becomes harder and harder to disconnect and experience the incorruptibility of nature.
Scuba diving not only allows an individual to appreciate the environment, it allows them to become part of it.
For those who love to explore, expanding your passport to the world beneath the sea vastly expands your options.