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Randon thoughts of a mind with a surface narcosis
Andy-overboard - 9/10/2007 12:44 AM
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Category: Personal
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Given that this blog is one that I placed on a local tech diving site in the PNW it may take a little explanation. My dive buddy recently became a issue there...just in case you were wondering. But he could not make it on this specific dive so I chose to dive with `Harvey`. I was diving at a site in Washington on the Hood Canal called Sund Rock. The temp at depth is 50 degrees all year round. I just moved to Tempe Arizona for work...a hard move for a diver and sailor from the PNW. For those who have a myspace account all my insanity an a lot of pictures are posted there under `andy burlingham` I will post more of my madness: Sund Rock....sometime in the summer... I wanted to dive on Sunday but my normal (I use this word cautiously) dive buddy, Jesse, has recently joined the First Church of the Inconvenient (or maybe it was incontinent) Vegetarian and had to attend his first service. The service was followed by a group dinner of roasted Tofurky (a tofu turkey) and organic veggies and the group hugging of an oft hugged pine tree that grows outside the place of worship. On hearing this I spent about 10 or 15 seconds dealing with feelings of rejection and mused as to whether this was the start of a carnivore/vegetarian split. Were these two ideologies so separate that just could be combined in one sport? What should I do? To dive or not to dive……well, there is always Harvey. Harvey is one on those dive buddies that is always there when you need him. It is like there is some sort of telepathic link, a mystical Zen thing; he is always available and never drops his coffee in the truck. There are many people (mostly people with PADI backgrounds) who do not appreciate Harvey or people who dive with him but with good preparation it can be done. A sunday of diving with Harvey is better than a cold Tofurky sandwidge with microwave reheated organic veggies and picking bark out of you liveral wooly shirt on Monday morning. The down side of diving with Harvey is that (a) he also has vegetarian tendencies (b) his ears and teeth are alarmingly large and (c) he never has a dive plan....but once you are aware of these deficiencies he is as reliable to dive with as a condom catheter that has actually been stapled to your thingy. (There is another whole story in that sentence but I will save that for another day). So I turn up on Sunday at Sund Rock with Harvey in tow. I had not anticipated that there would be any divers at Sund Rock given that it was the day of the `world cup or football`. This American indulgence has always amused me as only American teams are currently invited to attend and the game involves throwing and catching a ball. Not much `foot` there. We (the English) invented FOOTball and you made us change the name to soccer! However, I was greeted at Sund rock by six very excitable and loud divers from Spokane on a tech/rec class and a family of three who were clearly farmers from Washington. I wandered over to meet and greet people while Harvey drank some carrot juice and silently got his gear ready. Because Harvey is not as reliable and supportive and ruggedly good looking, in a macho straight kind of way, as my normal dive buddy (yes, I still want to dive with him!) I chose to run what was essentially a recreational program but in tech gear with a couple of simple drills for fun. While I was gearing up I could not help but watch the group from Spokane. There were 5 tech addicts, black DUI suits, black fins, black masks, identical Dive Rite gear. However, the sixth guy was out to one side, he had a rather large orange and black Viking suit and a mixed match of other gear. Clearly he was being shunned by the rest of the group, the ugly ducking of the class; I assumed that they would drown him. I got tanks on and headed to the water. As I wandered past the 5 guys I had a PADI moment and smiled to myself about all the tech gear but a second later, in a blatant example of universal karma, I accidentally dropped one of my black fins and as I reached down to get the fin my primary regulator on its 8 foot hose slowly unraveled and lowered itself gently to the ground. I realized that I too have also drunk the blue Kool-Aid and joined the Jones Town of tech diving. I checked that my new black mask was on my head and that my DUI dry suit was properly zipped down and, with shoulders and head down, walked into the water. For their part, the divers from Spokane just looked at me with that one eyebrow raised "so you are diving with Harvey" look. I did two dives both shallow and exploratory. I looked at the North Wall and went over to the wreck. The wreck always manages to scare me when it looms up out of the murk. I always think of the scene from jaws when they dive at night around the damaged boat and, as the guy pulls the tooth from the hole in the side of the boat, the head drops down…eugh, it still gives me the willies. The second dive was a gentle drift down the south wall and back. Nothing unusual on either dive, no unexpected critters but good life all the same. However, spring is clearly in the water as I caught several pairs of several squat lobsters in compromising positions in the sweep of my prying search light. The only unusual thing that did occur was when I was getting out of my suit. The catheter had pulled off and was swinging limply on the end of the plastic hose. On examination the ring on the `pulling back` end of it was missing, further examination revealed that it was not on me, its whereabouts is just another mystery to me. So while diving with Harvey is not illegal it is also not recommended, we are trained as self sufficient divers but in this case I chose to take no risks and just enjoy the feeling of being underwater.