Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Under the Sea (Part 1).

    I have always wanted to scuba dive.  Once I saw “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” I was lost.  Ariel dreamed of being where the people are, I dreamed of being where the fish are.

from Wikimedia Commons

    I took swimming classes as a child, I didn't do very well in class.  But that didn't stop me I taught myself to swim ... underwater of course.
   It was so quite and peaceful under the water, unless my brothers were around and decided to ride my back to side of the pool.  Then it was still quite but the peace thing was gone.  I was too concerned with getting back to where the people are so I could breath.  Did I mention I am terrified of drowning.
   I tried snorkeling at the beach, but the waves kept sending water down the snorkel.  That would trigger that whole terrified of drowning thing again.
   So I knew I would have to wait until I could learn how to scuba dive.  That way you take the air with you so you can breath.  That would solve that terrified of drowning problem.  Yeah right...
   So after I was out on my own with my own money I signed up for scuba diving classes.  I listened to all the things that could go wrong and how to correct them.  I learned all about the scuba equipment.  I bought a real scuba mask, a real snorkel, and real fins.  Not those cheap things from the pool department at Walmart. I got a dive knife, dive log, compass and a dive bag to put it all in.
   I was so proud of these purchases that walked around the living room trying them out.  And I only tripped on the fins a couple of times.  I never really liked that vase anyway.  I was so excited about our classes first day in the pool in full gear, that I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.
   The big day dawned bright and sunny.  We got to the store and went straight into the pool room.  Suited up in all the equipment and hopped into the pool.  Now I have to say at this point we were in the shallow end of the pool in about 4 feet of water.  We were to go underwater sit on the bottom and practice purging water from our masks.  Okay great, here we go.
   Down I went, and promptly forgot to breath through my mouth.  I am trying desperately to breath through my nose that is blocked by the mask.  Uh oh, my brain goes into panic mode ... can't breath, no air, going to die on the bottom of the pool.  Then my legs remember I am only in 4 feet of water and I am 5' 8”, and stand up.  I immediately jerk the mask off and come face to face with a classmate who is more terrified than I am.
   This is a good thing.  My teacher mood kicks in.
   I start talking to her and calming her down.  I remind her that we can breath underwater.  We have these freaking heavy tanks full of air on our backs.  I told her to practice breathing with me through the scuba regulator and then we would go down together.  It worked.
She kept her eyes glued to me and we completed that exercise and all the others for the day.  I was so concerned with her I forgot about myself. Jacques Cousteau  would have been proud.

Picture of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.Image via Wikipedia

   After that I had no problem.  Until my friend (???) tried to drown me toward the end of the course.
   But that my friends is another blog.

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Rayna M. Iyer said...

I really love how you suddenly realised you need only stand up to be able to start breathing again. And of how your teacher mode kicked in at the right time.
Looking forward to the next blog post, because that is really the closest I will get to snorkeling

Laura Eno said...

Nope, not me. I would love to live underwater a nice, big dome with lots of air, sitting on a sofa watching the fish go by. Sort of like living in the middle of an aquarium. :)

Theres just life said...

Hi Rayna, Never say never. It really is great. Seeing all the fish up close and personal. They are just as curious as we are, and you would love the colors.
Hi Laura, Wouldn't that be heavenly. You would have a constantly changing view. Only they better have a good DSL service.