The tranquility is what professional scuba diver and co-owner of Scuba Dudes Dive Shop, Richard Mills, loves most when he is submerged in the ocean, surrounded by eclectic sea creatures, colorful reefs and absolute silence.
In 2008, the scuba instructor and his wife, Kristi, opened their dive business in Holdenville, Oklahoma out of their motorcycle shop and over the years have relocated to Shawnee and Oklahoma City.
The sea dweller explained Scuba Dudes provides a wide range of scuba related services to those interested.
"It's a place you can come into and learn how to take scuba diving lessons. You can buy equipment. We can do repairs," Mills said. "You can go on vacations with us. We do dive travel and all types of training actually and it's just a place to come and have a really good time."
Mills explained he became a certified scuba diver in 2008 after having a bad motorcycle accident and his wife suggested it.
"The moment that I first went underwater and went diving I fell in love with it. I'd had other hobbies in the past (like) racing and motocross," Mills said. "So I was a bit of an adrenaline junky to start with and I had a bad wreck...and I was looking for another passion to get into and my wife happened to mention scuba diving..."
The underwater explorer said he and some friends then went to Oklahoma City, visited different dive shops, became certified and he eventually opened his own store.
For Mills, being immersed in any kind of aquatic world is truly amazing and he loves interacting with the sea life.
"To go under the water...you find your inner peace, your tranquility. It's so quiet, so peaceful and it's so relaxing to be underwater," Mills said. "Not to mention it's one of the most beautiful places there is to see, with all the aquatic life (and) the coral reef. It's just beautiful underwater."
Scuba Dudes, Mills said offers a variety of classes for those who wish to learn how to scuba dive.
"There's reading a book...you have to do a bit of home study...you watch a movie which basically is that book almost word for word," Mills said. "Once we get the classroom portion finished up we go to the pool and that is the moment that you get to see the change in peoples' lives."
The professional diver explained Scuba Dudes offers a lot of discovery dives, which are basic classes they hold for people who are curious about lessons.
"It actually introduces people to breathing underwater and that way they can make up their own mind whether it's something they want to pursue or if it's just not for them," Mills said. "But 99 percent of the people who experience it usually end up getting certified."
The scuba instructor said his favorite aspect of teaching people how to dive is being able to introduce them to his passion and witness as they too become passionate about the sport.
"The moment that they get underwater and start breathing you can tell those that fall in love with it," Mills said. "There's those that you'll see it in their eyes...It's just very unique to breathe underwater."
Over the years, Mills explained he and his fellow divers have been to numerous places including: Cozumel, Florida, St. Martin and more to dive in open oceans and to several lakes around the country.
"We've been to a lot of different lakes and dove in the lakes, the streams, and the natural springs," Mills said. "So there's actually a lot of land based diving sites when you get to checking on them..."
The business owner said nearly every weekend he and others dive in lakes around Oklahoma like Lake Tenkiller and Lake Murray, which each have dive parks.
On average, Mills said Scuba Dudes teaches around 100 to 150 people how to dive in a year.
"There's quite a few...There are a lot of divers in Oklahoma. It's really amazing how many people get certified in each year," Mills said.
For Mills, while he loves being able to pursue his passion and share it with others, he said the biggest challenge of owning his own business is the day-to-day grind.
"When you own your own business you work twice as long and twice as hard," Mills said. "You want the best for your clients so you do what you have to do..."
Mills said he and Kristi have been together since they were in seventh grade and while he teaches others to dive, she takes care of everything at their store fronts.
"She's a rescue diver. She went that far so that way she would know what to do in an emergency situation," Mills said. "So that's as far as she wanted to take it...as my friends call her she's the 'dive shop lady' because she's in charge of the dive shop."
The scuba diver explained he and Kristi actually bought the original shop they themselves learned to scuba in.
"So it was a no brainer for us to purchase the store that we started in," Mills said.
As time goes on, Mills said he will continue to teach people how to dive and help them fall in love with his passion.
"I hope more people get certified to dive and for our businesses to flourish," Mills said.
Scuba Dudes is located at 724 N Harrison Avenue and for more information on their services visit thescubadudes.com.