Decompressing ~ haibun



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)


30 thoughts on “Decompressing ~ haibun

  1. Yep. If we are smart, we do things like this when we can. Congrats to you for finding a special love and embracing it, and also understanding when it is time to let go of the extreme.
    Being alone is sublime. I appreciate that. I can hear those bubbles in my mind, even now.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. diving is so addictive, I only stopped when my neck injury would have been lethal if i continued. I miss it so much. Wreck diving off the Northern Borneo coast was unbelievable, I am sure the muscle spasms for you too when memory takes flight. I think the solitude was my pull too. your transition is poignantly expressed in your haibun

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the haiku all on its own and I was touched by your story. I was a competitive swimmer growing up and still swim some now; I relate to the quiet of being in the water, something I value even more now than I did then. What good memories you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While this is all about diving, the essence is much broader. I’ve never been diving underwater, never jumped from an airplane, never engaged in physical strength challenges – yet I am labeled “free spirit” for impulsive leaps – often in pursuit of “silence” – away from the clamor of others, away from inner clamor – becoming myself silent. This is so beautifully written, wishing I HAD tried diving back when I lived in South Florida amidst ample opportunities! (That’s definitely a season gone …)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jazz. I’ll admit that I was a bit too impulsive at times, but I don’t regret any of my experiences.
      While not quite immersive (HA!) I get a similar satisfaction from kayaking on a quiet stream. It’s definitely far more relaxing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an experience to see that part of the world and hold its treasures. Sorry to read about your ear infection and vertigo. Yes maybe a change is for the best when our body can no longer take it. Thanks for the personal share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      I know of people who suffer vertigo to extremes – regularly. I’ve had “minor” occurrences since the first. I couldn’t imagine dealing with repeated severe episodes.


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