Sunday, July 01, 2007

SCUBA Diving - First Dive Jitters

I took my first "fun dive" yesterday; a dive that involved no certification or mandatory skills to demonstrate. I was surprised when I got to the sea floor on my first dive of the day and became "uneasy." It was a strange feeling, but exactly like the first dive on my certification trip. I just felt the urgent need to "surface, surface, surface." I wasn't afraid, or worried that something bad would happen, just anxious for some reason.

I think I have it figured out now. I think it takes 30 seconds, or maybe a minute or two to descend to ten meters or so. During that time, I am thinking about equalizing my ears and trying to remain or attain some sort of controlled posture while slowly falling to the bottom. Then, as soon as I get down and settled my body starts sending these messages that sort of say "HEY!!! WE CAN'T BREATHE DOWN HERE! LET'S GO!!!" It's a strange feeling since I obviously can breathe down there with the help of a little equipment. But my body thinks it knows better than I do and it just almost insists that we surface, and do so as fast as possible. Very strange.

I have to take a few deep breaths which is exactly what you want to avoid in order to conserve air, and after a few minutes I calm down a bit. Within 15 minutes or so, my body has given up talking to me and we swim happily around the sea without a care in the world. Then on the subsequent dives of the day my primal instincts are apparently suppressed. I consider this phase sort of like my body giving me the silent treatment. You know, "Since I am not going to listen anyway." Can't you just hear it pitching a little hissy fit inside? But the result is that my second dive is nice and relaxed. Not a worry in the world. It is a strange sensation, those "first dive jitters." But at least I have a working theory about what is going on down there.

Got another dive planned for July 14 and then a big 2 day/2 night "live aboard" trip to Koh Tao (Turtle Island) on August 3 - 5. Stay tuned.


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