Wednesday, March 16, 2011

christ of the abyss

on the 22nd of August, 1954 a bronze statue of christ was placed on the floor of the mediterranean sea off the coast of italy as a tribute to Dario Gonzatti, the first italian scuba diver, who died in 1947 in this exact location. "Il Cristo degli Abissi" or "christ of the abyss" is the name given to this statue whose arms are faced towards the sky as an offering a blessing of peace. around the world there are a number of similar statues including one which is a near-exact replica off the coast of granada and another slightly different statue off the coast of key largo.

i first stumbled on these statues in a late night internet search while trying to satisfy my curiosity of the underwater world in the weeks before my first dive. now, anyone who dives has certainly been through the typical steps of open-water or CMAS 1 star instruction courses in which the very first task is to maintain a resting position on the knees while sitting on the sea floor. this pose becomes a still point, or a relaxing position and its something you come back to to gather yourself while diving. actually i really enjoy this meditative stance and often while underwater i would return to this position to take in the sights and sounds of the underwater world or simply just to marvel the beauty of bubbles ascending to the surface of the sea being pierced by wavy sunlight from far above.

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