Suit up, assemble and put on all the equipment - BCD, tank, regs, weights. Do a buddy check and then it's time to get in the water.
Once I'm on a dive, any worries or stresses I may have had that day or that week simply drop away. Once I'm on a dive, it's all about paying attention to the underwater surroundings, paying attention to my buddy, putting any newly-learned skills to practical use, and having fun.
I've noticed that quite often, when I'm in shallower water - say, within ten to fifteen feet of the surface, the light often sparkles and shimmers on the lake bottom. I'd love to capture - or try to capture - that on film sometime.
I've seen fish hovering above a shipwreck; crayfish scuttling along the bottom of the lake; a sliver of a moon shimmering overhead as I looked up from my position under the water; bass swimming amongst the weeds; hundreds of minnows darting in and around the beam of a flashlight, the tiny fish lighting up like silver whenever the light hit them directly.
And I'm just getting started.
I'm working towards my Advanced Open Water certification, but in some ways I still feel like a beginner. There is still so much more for me to learn, and so many skills for me to get good at.
I know I need to work on my skills - especially getting a better handle on my buoyancy - and I'll put in the time and the work needed to get these skills up to the level they need to be at.
I consider myself so very privileged to be able to explore the underwater world, and even more privileged to belong to a dive club with such wonderful people.
I always feel great after a dive. And even when a dive doesn't go according to plan, it's still a good dive in my books, since it serves as a valuable learning experience.
I look forward to many more dives, learning much more, and spending lots more time with my dive buddies.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Here's a list of some favourite moments I've had while on the road in Canada (by no means complete - I have far too many great memories to include them all here):
- attending a midnight concert under a bridge in Saskatoon (imagine being surrounded by fellow Fringe performers, and listening to a performer whose voice sounds like an eclectic mix between Sting and Tom Waits).
- sitting in an outdoor hot tub at 3:00am in Athabasca, Alberta, while the northern lights shimmered overhead.
- witnessing my first prairie storm - seeing the roiling threatening clouds building up in the distance, seeing the wind playing with the fields of wheat and canola, and feeling that electric charge in the air.
- being surprised to find out that P.E.I. is in fact quite hilly in places, and enjoying the sand dunes; also, seeing a large group of fireflies by a marshy area.
- finally seeing a moose out in the countryside, by the side of the road (enjoying this glimpse of a moose from a safe distance - I certainly wouldn't want to come across one standing in the middle of the highway).
- whale watching on the west coast.
- seeing mountain goats in the Rockies.