I have talked about swimming with Jesus in Day 17 of this blog series.
I want to talk now about how I learnt to scuba dive, overcoming a fear of drowning in my mask. I was on a cruise and my son and I decided to take the scuba diving pool lesson before going out in the ocean for a real dive. Neither my son, then aged 11, or myself had dived before. We had a fairly straightforward lesson in the pool. My son took every detail in while I was a little slower at grasping the techniques, and what all the equipment did, but we were set up to join a dive group that afternoon.
We had our dive gear on and the dive instructor gave his talk about what we were to do, jumping in, grasping the boat rope connected to the anchor with our hands, crossing them over until we reached the correct depth. I never got that far. When it was my turn to jump in, my mask shifted. I began the descent after the other divers, but when I was below the water a mere few feet, my whole mask was full of water. I panicked, not remembering how to clear my mask. One of the dive assistants tried to show me but I only wanted to resurface, which I did, in a hurry, choking and swallowing what seemed like a gallon of water. I was asked if I wanted to go back down, but I had had enough. It would be a few years before I would try that stunt again. Meanwhile, my son was well on his way to moving, walking and living underwater. He now is about to do his instructor training and then he will be fully qualified to teach.
I laid to rest my dream to scuba dive and join my son in some of his dives for a few years. Then, I was told of a younger lady who was in the island for a few months and she wanted to do the beginners dive course and needed a companion. I took the plunge. The two of us had a very strict female instructor. She would get annoyed with us if we did not get a technique right. We persevered, we were not naturals like my son was. After a few weeks we were qualified, and could dive up to 60 feet. It felt good to have succeeded.
I have done about 40 dives since then. I continued learning, finding the bouancy to be the hardest thing to control. On a few occasions I found myself drifting up to the surface on my own. When I dived with my son he would be very careful with me and on a number of occasions he had to keep me down, and give me more weights. One time my equipment was faulty during a dive, and I had to be given a new tank, 60 feet under. I was not afraid, the sea is a place of relaxation for me. A place where burdens are left behind. Even the heavy tank on my back is not felt, it is weightless in the water.
He gave me a funny “Dan’s Diving” voucher for my last birthday to take me to whichever dive site I wanted to go. I relished the hour below the sea with my 180 pound, 6 foot tall, Jacques Cousteau son, swimming together, as equals, among the fish and coral, in and out of shipwrecks, standing and lying on the white sand 40 to 60 feet below. Not like previous times, he was finally at ease with me, happy with my diving, and not having to report to his dad that he had to save me from something. It was my highlight of the 3 months of summer that he was home.
Today is Day 23 of Prison Break of Thoughts – 31 Days of Inner Release