Monday, March 26, 2018

The pond

Waddling over the gravel-covered terrain, I made my way toward the water line. I was wearing my dry suit and carrying a steel tank on my back. Two regulators dangled over my right shoulder, and I carried my fins in my left hand. I was diving at Hathaway Pond.

The entrance to Hathaway Pond
The pond is not the best dive site in the world, but it's easy to access and usually not too cold. We use it as a training site, a place to go on the weekends or when the marine dive charters shut down for the winter. The bottom is covered in sand and stringy algae. Small stickleback fish dart around. There is a training platform, a shipwreck, and a sunken car on the bottom. It's a good place to practice and keep our skills sharp.

It had been several months since my last dive, and I could tell. I had to go more slowly as I assembled my equipment, checking everything twice to make sure I didn't make a mistake. This summer, I'll be diving a lot, including for a research study I got funded, so it's important for me to stay fresh and keep on top of my skills. It's especially important that I get more dives in my dry suit, because that adds a new complicating factor to my dives.

Besides the necessity of practice, my brain was itching to get underwater. The sub-surface environment is peaceful, and breathing underwater calms me down in a way that few other activities can. Diving is at the same time meditative and enthralling. It makes my heart sing. I was glad for the chance to dive at the pond and look forward to getting back underwater soon.

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