I started scuba diving in my late twenties, reaching NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) Advanced certification in my second year. I went on to gain certification in Wreck, Rescue, and Ice diving, while diving at every opportunity. I’ve only been “resort” diving twice (early on), to Cozumel, Mexico and Bonaire (formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles). The majority of my diving was in the Niagara River, but I’ve also dived off the shores of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and I’ve done more than 50 wreck dives in the Great Lakes.
I collected a few finds over the years, from 19th century glass and clay bottles and jugs to boat anchors and an actual 300 pound ship’s anchor. I met some great people along the way, but the one thing I enjoyed the most was the solitary aspect of it – being alone with my thoughts with no sound except the air bubbles from my regulator, while still being able to enjoy my experience in the environment.
In 1990, after nine years of diving, I had an inner ear infection (non-diving related) that left me in bed with vertigo for a week. I was left with a continuous ringing in my left ear and brief lapses of minor vertigo when inverting my head or lying down too quickly. That vertigo became an increasing factor in my dives when sudden direction changes occurred, such as inverting briefly to get around an obstacle or while wreck diving. When I broke my ankle at work in 1998, I took it as a sign to end my diving, and never looked back.
air bubbles rising
to break the water’s surface
gone with the seasons
As guest host at dVerse, with Haibun Monday: TransitionsHaibun Monday: Transitions, Merril asks us to write about a transitional change in our lives. I think I’ve achieved that with my closing. Thank you, Merril.
Image: clay bottles – “Lemon Beer” bottle, (12″ tall) spring water bottle & jug –
plus glob-top beer bottle, boat anchor, and ship’s deadeye
(all Niagara River finds)