Diving into adventure

August 1, 2004

Hartford, CT-About 80% of the world is covered in water, yet the majority of people have seldom experienced firsthand what lies beneath its surface.

Hartford, CT-About 80% of the world is covered in water, yet the majority of people have seldom experienced firsthand what lies beneath its surface.

Dr. Maron's fascination with the ocean started as a young boy.

As he grew older, Dr. Maron became intrigued by the explorations of French oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau.

Desire to go deeper It wasn't until an ophthalmology meeting in Hawaii that Dr. Maron decided to pursue his interest in the sea.

"I had been snorkeling before, but I wanted to experience the greater depths below the surface," he said. "Two of my children agreed to spend 3 of our 8 days in Hawaii getting our scuba certification."

"It's like going to a strange, new land," Dr. Maron said. "I literally had no idea what to think. I thought to myself, 'Will I like it?' and 'Could creatures within the sea be hostile?'"

It didn't take long for Dr. Maron and his children to realize they loved the adventure.

"We were intrigued," he said. "We yearned to see more."

Later that year, Dr. Maron was invited to a medical conference on the island of Bonaire, a Caribbean island located near Venezuela.

"On this particular trip we were able to visit a shipwreck," he said. "The government had confiscated a smuggling boat and decided to sink the ship intentionally for divers to explore."

Dr. Maron was quite stunned with what he saw below.

"I will never forget seeing a free diver sitting on the ocean floor in a 'lotus' position with only a mask and fins," Dr. Maron added. "Ironically, at that same moment, my dive partner's regulator failed and we realized that we had to get back to the surface quickly. Needless to say, we felt rather foolish!"

After more than 120 dives, Dr. Maron continues to plan annual diving trips.

"I've decided that when Connecticut is freezing and I can hardly stand it anymore, it's time to visit a destination with a warm climate," he explained. "I usually plan on taking 10 or more dives over a week's time."