I am not the world’s best diver; I tend to suck air like, well, a man about to drown. Perhaps it’s because I’m excitable. I’ve dived with friends who are always shocked when we play the game of ‘you show me yours and I’ll show you mine. And I’m not talking about underwater foreplay; I’m referring to pressure gauges. Fifteen minutes into a dive, their gauge usually shows a tank half full, mine shows I am about to suck dead air.
Sea critters also seem to favor me and always come close for a better look. Jelly fish and spiny sea urchins find me attractive. Although having someone pee on you does ease the pain, I have yet to find someone willing to let me test my own healing powers. Admitting it worked for me (several times) only earned me strange looks on the dive boat and problems finding a dive buddy.
My return to diving was no glorious descent to the depths but a bottom scrape. Having failed to apply enough antifouling to my boat, the barnacles have made their home on the hull and propeller and I had to scrape them off. What should have been a simple job, turned into major aquatic toil.
When I bought my new gear, I didn’t buy enough weights. I’ll explain. You know when you play with a balloon in the bath, blow it up real big and try and drag it under? You don’t? Mm, anyway, that’s what it’s like when you haven’t strapped on enough weight; you are the balloon, you can float up, but you can’t go down!
Had they ever found him, my dive instructor would spin in his grave.
Undeterred, I spent half an hour bouncing along the bottom of the boat being gouged by razor-sharp barnacles and wondering if the blood would attract a shark. Pissing on a shark bite doesn’t work as well as it does for jelly fish stings.
The next day I returned to the dive shop and bought more weights. “Oh, you’re a floater,” said the lady who sold me the gear.