Friday, April 19, 2013

Scuba Diving in the University Aquatic Centre

Hauling tanks and gear
From truck in rain
Down stairs through doors
To where scant clad
Bright eyed youth frolic
In water.
Instruction in suits by side of pool
Jason and Michelle our teachers this night.
Technology and fabric, zipper care
Signalling emergencies underwater
Then suiting up.
I'm little a little kid with snow suit
Can't get the feet down in boots
Struggle to pull bag over my fat ass
Feel michelin man for a bit
Then ecstatic when finally zipper closed.
I'm ready.
To don already assembled tank
And Hubb BCG and regulator.
It is heavy.
I'm ready.
Pick up mask and snorkel and fins
And waddle to side of pool
Inflate BCG a bit,
Right hand on face and regulator
Left hand on weight belt
Step off in faith
Falling into water.
I float beautifully.
Proud of myself.
Till it's apparent I've forgot my weight belt.
I won't descend.
Minutes to figure out the problem.
Out of the pool
Out of fins and Hubb,
Find my weight belt.
It's heavy.
Don this, then the Hubb and fins.
Step off into the air and hit water
Float. Ah.
I descend.
The 13 year kid, Charley
Keeps flying in circles
somersaulting and generally being amazing.
The other half dozen 30 year olds are gathered
On the bottom on their knees
Observing jason.
Michelle is often flashing the okay sign at me
I'm the old man.
I look up and see bikinis flashing by overhead.
Life isn't so bad.
I'm bobbing up and down
Putting air in my suit
It's too much. I rise to the top.
Let out air, sink to the bottom.
It's supposed to be a few inches
Whereas I'm travelling up and down
Like an elevator.
Finally, finally, finally
I'm hovering.
I've got the hang of the latest generation dry suit
Breathing softly float inches above the floor
Kicking gently move stealth like
Below the bikinis passing over head.
I know they are there but I'm focusing
On buoyancy and breathing
Then am doing somersaults like Charley
Then I'm good. Really good.
The suit and BCG work for me.
I'm ready for the sea.
I will soon again be amongst shark and octupi
Swimming with fish and turtles.
I free myself from Hubb at weights at poolside
Climb out of water
Can't for the life of me get out of the suit
Feet stuck in boots
Eventually free myself
Fleece untangles
I'm in a bathing suit with a pile of equipmment
All around me. I hose it off.
Go to shower room
Quickly shower, dress wet,
I forgot my towel
Haul equipment through doors upstairs
In rain, across road and parking lot to truck
It's been a couple of hours
Who would guess.
The gang high fived each other as we left
One girl so pleased she could finally
Put on her mask under water and clear air
I'm pleased with my new suit
Understanding the valves
My reconditioned HUBB restored seals
Look forward to the sea
But driving home
Hungry tired
Good tired.
Scuba diving
is easy underwater
Like flying
Gliding really.
It's just the getting there and back
That's all the exercise
And I've seen no fat scuba divers
Fewer are older
But what fun it was
To get out to the University Aquatic Centre
And prepare to return to the sea.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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