Legends of Diving Articles
Bonding with the Ocean
Personal Account by Ben Rose
Sometimes, when I look back on my life, I know that I was
born to be a part of the great oceans. The water of this
world is my passion and I have been blessed with a life in
and near and under the water. Long before my family
immigrated to the Bahamas, I loved to fish in the brook at
the bottom of our garden in Britain. To my motherís dismay,
I always came home wet, always swore that I hadnít been in
the brook, and always got caught because I would put my
shoes on backwards. When I first came to the Bahamas, I was
unable to swim but the water and its endless motion
fascinated me. I would run in and out with the waves, like a
charging dog, and it was not until my old man threw me in
the salty brine that I realized the ocean would always be a
deep and nurturing part of my life.
My upbringing on Hog Island was uniquely tied to the sea. My
brothers and I spent our days on Paradise Beach, fishing,
swimming, and exploring. I spent hours in the tidal pools,
with a big jam jar. Mumís strainers went mysteriously
missing from the kitchen as I used them to net the critters
for my jar. My first aquarium was an old washtub filled with
sergeant majors. I changed the water religiously every day.
At fifteen years of age, I put a scuba tank on for the first
time. My parents certainly couldnít afford one for me, some
of the homeowners on Hog Island bought the rigs for their
kids and this gave me the opportunity to putter around with
it. My first job was in the aquarium at Paradise Beach and I
was able to use my very basic scuba training to go down and
attempt to rid of the sea grass in eight to ten feet on the
beach. I receive no formal training until 1965, when I first
came to UNEXSO and did my guideís training.
Aquariums have always figured largely in my relationship
with the sea, much to the dismay of my wife, Judy. There is
just something about the vibrancy of the living ocean that
draws me to it. There is nothing I enjoy more than spending
an hour (or more) with some new divers on one coral head,
looking for the tiny creatures that make up its world. I
think that seeing this microcosm makes one view diving in a
whole different way. You should try it some time; I swear it
will change the wave you dive.
UNEXSO Guide and Marine Expert
At an early age
Ben Rose knew he belonged in the ocean. He came to UNEXSO in
1965 already with amateur experience in diving. There he learned
to dive with sharks. He has expanded his knowledge of sharks to
expert level. He started a marine identification program,
identifying and categorizing species of fish in the Caribbean.
He is an avid writer, sharing his experiences through personal
accounts of diving history and diving with sharks.
(Read more accounts by Ben Rose)
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