Into the drink

My body still feels the motion of the ocean.  Seven days diving in the Western Caribbean, from Utila Island, Honduras.  When i wrote about this before, i was just getting started – following the childhood dream to channel Raquel Welch in that white wetsuit in “Fantastic Voyage”.

Now?  It’s more than that.  A lot more.

Since my brain is still scrambled, and i haven’t finished knocking the stink from the SCUBA gear, just some random thoughts on that thing that is diving…

– No longer just a thrill to breathe underwater, or see pretty colored fish, it felt different this time.  i didn’t struggle to conserve air – i stayed down for an hour, with the required ‘psi’ left in the tank when i climbed back on the boat.  Floating, floating, floating.  The sound of my breathing.  Focused on nothing other than the moment.  This is as close to meditation as i will likely come.

– The little stuff.  Nudibranchs.  Slugs that are teeny-tiny, and wear kaleidoscopic colors.  Ok, not slugs, but soft-bodied marine gastropod mollusks.  One of the divers with my group is skilled at finding these – and loves sharing the joy of the little stuff.  What a delight!

– Floated face to face with a green moray eel, hanging out in a coral cave.  Blue eyes.  Kind of reminds me of a dog.  Spotted my first octopus during a night dive – watched it turn from brown to blue when i hit it with the spotlight.  Blew my mind!

– “It’s like being an astronaut!  I get suited up, and visit an alien world!”  The words of a young diver from Arizona who spent time with our group.  He’s right.  i DO feel like an astronaut.  And no need for diapers…  Speaking of which…

– i have to wonder if there is a medical condition known as “SCUBA-Induced Incontinence”.  There are two types of divers – those who pee in their wetsuits, and those who lie about peeing in their wetsuits.  While diving, you pee when you need to.  Made me wonder how things would be once i got back on dry land…

– Divers, in general, are folks who might have adventurous tendencies.  And they also like to play!  To spend a week hanging out with such folks – who find joy in being alive?  A true pleasure.

More later… But for now?  i need to boil my diveskin….

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36 thoughts on “Into the drink

  1. That sounded amazing. I have seen Nudibranchs (Nudibranchi) while walking through shallow bits and they are a joy. Diving is something I have promised myself. Sometime.
    I am not certain I should thank you for the images of all the divers doing synchronised peeing though. And like the song you don’t want in your head, that image is in mine.

    • the transition from ‘breathing underwater’ to ‘pretty fish’ to ‘little stuff’ took about 40 dives. but the diversity of the life underwater simply overwhelmed me sometimes… and we weren’t all synchronized. just sort of ‘pee as needed’…

    • i just happen to be at a point in life where i can do this – post child-rearing, sufficient income, sufficient vacation time…. with a bit of energy, and sufficiently good reflexes to still get out and play hard!

  2. Well, I guess you’ve identified the source of the SCUBA gear stink then? Great adventure. I’ve only ever done an introductory thing in a swimming pool. Still it was awesome. Do you have any visual corrections built into your mask? Or is your eyesight good enough as is? That’s one thing I’ve always obsessed about since I have poor vision.

    • yep. that’d be the reason i had gear soaking in “sink the stink”, and then air drying in the sun all day! i have absolutely TERRIBLE eyesight. horribly nearsighted, and now requiring reading glasses. my current solution: contact lenses with ‘readers’ in the dive mask so i can read gauges.

      however, i could get the prescription lenses made. or simply bite the bullet and check into lasik. the risk with the contacts is that i’ll knock one off while clearing the mask underwater. that’s why i have a solid dive buddy – who will know what it means when i’m pointing at my eye and motioning “up”… but it’s a risk i should reduce nonetheless….

    • i was not! we saw MANY moray eels – mostly green ones, but a few spotted ones. they really are gorgeous creatures. look like they’re smiling. until they open their cute little mouths!

  3. The picture of the Nudibranches lives up to the weirdness of their name. Extraordinary.

    Re the diving suit, a long time ago a seasoned ex-biker told me that there was a similar practice of peeing in your bike leathers on long rides amongst certain more hardcore subcultures. It makes sense in both situations – why waste something harmless and warm when you’re somewhere cold?

    • had never heard the bit about bikers, but i do have a bicycling friend who can pee while riding his bike! watched him do it! granted, he aims it sideways, but it was impressive!

  4. Who’s the coolest Mama? you-is the coolest Mama. Though i find joy in being alive just by walking down the street (i guess i’m lucky that way) i wouldn’t mind diving into the ocean and having a look around… as for nudibranches, i think i’ve seen a few a them in strip clubs…

    • i don’t know about cool, but i’m having a blast. i find joy in the little things, too. last night, i was deliriously happy watching my dog chase rabbits in his sleep.

      you’re probably right about the strip clubs. up underneath the sinks? i hear it’s just filthy with ’em…

  5. LOVE your wetsuit! 🙂

    SCUBA is an area that I haven’t delved into ….. YET!
    I promised myself years ago that I would do it, then kids showed up.
    Plenty of time still!

    You are a definite inspiration for NOT postponing joy! 🙂

    • it’s a diveskin – mostly for protection against cuts and scrapes, more than for warmth. water was around 85F, so didn’t need thermals. some folks were diving in swimsuits, or even shirtless…

      i got certified the year my youngest was starting his last year of high school. tried to talk the family into doing it together, but they had no interest. this is the kind of thing you really have to want to do, and it just wasn’t their gig…

      you’ll get there! no doubt!

    • very surprising that i was still rocking two days after my last boat ride – but the last one was a doozy! much better today.

      after a day of diving, we’d stand in the shower in our lodge room, close our eyes, and still feel like we were on the boat. hadn’t thought of the risk of falling off the loo, however… could have been dangerous.

    • there were many moments when i was speechless, and a silent “wow” was all i could conjure… at recreational diver depths (up to 60′) it really isn’t much trauma on the lungs. the ears? that’s usually what takes the training…

  6. I want to do this very badly. Not the peeing part, but the looking at the fish and the floating. Oh, sure, I’ll probably pee too, but mainly I’m there for the fish and the floating. I don’t get to scuba. It’s too expensive right now for a family sport. When we went to Hawaii though, all we did was skin dive – that was our primary activity, finding beaches with cool coral to swim through. So many things to look at! Also, I’ll admit that I’ve always found free diving a challenge. I like to see how long I can hold my breath and how deep I can go. So far, I’ve hit about fifty feet and stayed down for about a minute and a half – but I’ll have to admit that when I did it, the whole time on my way up I was thinking, “so this is how it ends…”

    • free diving is nuts! those folks train, and train, and then train some more…. remarkable what the human body can do with conditioning. and perhaps a few less brain cells!

      it can be an expensive sport. especially the travel. but don’t give up on it…

  7. I love nudibranchs, probably one of the most amazing creatures down there on the coral. I would love to go scuba diving, wanted to learn while I was in college but I couldn’t get the requisite permissions from my physician due to constant sinus problems. So I guess I’ll have to content myself with snorkeling and vicarious pleasures in hearing other’s adventures.

    Thanks for sharing with us….

    • i only had one “Jaws” moment. wreck dive at 100′. was peeking in a window of an encrusted hull… and had a flashback to that ‘face’ thing. ugh. about peed my pants. oh, wait…

    • Wclcome to The Park! Thanks for stopping by – and your kind words! it seems we both started blogging as we became ’empty nesters’. Looks like you’re off to a good start!

      Unlike you, however, i am an unrepenetant potty mouth. Just part of how i function. Sadly, i do not come with a warning label!

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