There are still so many unknowns about the ocean; so many fascinating places to be explored and fantastical creatures to observe. For any new divers out there, my plea to you is simply to be as gentle on the ocean as possible, even if it's not so gentle on us.
In 2015, I was lucky enough to spend a month volunteering with a marine conservation project in Cambodia. Most days, we were scuba diving three times a day, every day. This meant gearing up in wet suits and oxygen tanks three separate times. This meant spending hours breathing through a regulator. This meant bathing in sea water and dealing with the tangled mess of hair later. This was my heaven.
Every beach in the Galápagos is covered with sea lions: napping, sun tanning, playing in the surf. The youngsters are incredibly friendly, splashing around with tourists, blowing bubbles with scuba divers, posing for pictures. This has given many tourists a false idea of how they should behave with these animals. Most tourists now overstep their bounds, trying to one-up their friends with the ultimate selfie and with the biggest sea lion.