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One Foot Off the Merry-Go-Round

A (rather large) Fish Tank of Possibilities

THAILAND | Tuesday, 8 November 2011 | Views [522] | Comments [1]

I’ll start at the end of the beginning…

Travis and I are certified scuba divers. We passed our written tests after the fourth day of diving in the Gulf of Thailand. Each day, we completed two dives at two different dive sites—spending about 50 minutes underwater each time we went down. I know many people have been certified in scuba and I’m not sure what the impact of diving had on them, but for me and Travis—we fell in love.

We plunged into the swimming pool the first day—with all of our scuba gear-- gear which allows us to breathe in an environment in which we should not. Our first goal was to sink to the bottom of the pool and sit down for class. I must say the image that continuously ran through my head for the next 15 minutes was Dustin Hoffman in the scene from The Graduate… sitting there, Darth Vader like breathing and Simon and Garfunkel-- of course! (can you imagine that move without that soundtrack?!).

It struck us both that you really do almost see into the soul of another person when you are vulnerably underwater. When I would start to feel a slight panic, it’s as if my Swedish instructor Claus could feel it… he would turn to me, bring his fingers slowly to his mask—tap it to get my attention—then we would look into each other’s eyes until we both knew the panic had left. We would look away only after giving the okay sign.

One of our great friends that we have met on the island, Jaime (he’s been diving for 20 + years) is one of the most boisterous and energetic storytellers we have ever met (even more so than Travis!)… but underwater, he is variable Buddha… calm and collected, sending out the vibe of pure comfort and assurance.

By the way, a little history on Claus… he was one of the island's first western inhabitants, brings over 20 years of diving experience to the job and holds a SSI Platinum Pro5000 Diver card. The list of cardholders is a “who’s who” of diving, containing the world’s most elite and prominent dive leaders, scientists, photographers, etc. Jacques Cousteau earned his card the same way – by diving 5,000 times. Claus now has well over 6,000 dives under his belt. Now THAT’S dedication.

We plan to do a “fun dive” in the next couple of days… we’ll just take off on a boat and swim around for an hour or two. I feel like diving is allowing me to see all there is to see in the world… even though I truly haven’t traveled much in the world at all.

Travis and I are in love… and we are in love with the freedom of the underwater world and all of the beauty it fills us with. And it's not over yet folks.... not by a long shot.



Great post- almost felt like I was there with you guys.

  Brian Stockdell Nov 13, 2011 9:21 AM

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