As it turns out, I'm one of those divers who gets a sharp stabbing pain in the ear on the descent, so I was slow getting down to depth (in this case, about 40 feet underwater). Once there, though, I enjoyed myself throughly. I saw some dragon wrasse, two white-tipped reef sharks, a nudibranch, a luminescent flatworm, a porcupine fish, a peacock grouper, and swarms of other fish. I got comfortable with the idea of breathing underwater, and got used to the way the currents work along the formations, and the idea of changing one's buoyancy by breathing correctly.
Of course, no one tells you just how LOUD air bubbles can be underwater, rippling past your ears. Or the fact that whale song is audible underwater, as long as you aren't breathing too deeply at the time.
The second dive was even better than the first, and over much too quickly. On the way back up, my ears were fine right until I got to the surface, when everything sounded muffled for a while.
Does the sea call to me? Well, it's very different from snorkeling, as you just aren't worried about air in the same way, and you can reach sea life that is inaccessible to the casual snorkeler.
In other words, I'll be going back, ears be damned.