Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Two days ago my sister Victoria got us to sign up for scuba certification.
I had assumed, what with us leaving on our family cruise in three weeks, that we wouldn't have time to get certified before we left. (Yes, I've known about the cruise for months and months. And yes, I did sort of hope it was too late.) But apparently, we have time.

And I knew Casey wanted to try it, and I thought it might be a really cool experience. So, despite the fairly high price tag, we signed up.

Yesterday, when we walked in to the dive shop, they had us all sit around a table and introduce ourselves. Then he told us it was time to get in the pool. What? I thought we had to learn some theory first. Or at least the names and functions of all the parts that will keep me from drowning!

But apparently, that's how it's done. We suited up, stuck that fancy bit of rubber in our teeth, and went under.

I tried to stay calm. I tried to believe I wasn't suffocating. I wondered, if you spend less than a minute under water will they give you a refund? And then I went up for air.

I stood there alone above water with my mask on my forehead (which I learned later is the sign of a distressed diver) until the instructor surfaced to see what was wrong with me. I admitted that I might have claustrophobia. He said I'd have to come back on non-class days for more practice. Right. This when I'm already spending 6 of the remaining 18 evenings away from my kids before I leave them for 9 days. And didn't you just get that I don't want to spend MORE time underwater right now?

Well, after a quick review of procedure, and the instructor prying the buoyancy regulator out of my fingers (oh, I don't have to hold that?) so I could hold his hands and try again, I was fine.
Phew! I didn't just waste a couple hundred dollars.

(I also panicked the first time I tried to snorkel. The water was choppy and I couldn't handle trying to breathe with my face under water at the same time that I was trying to stay afloat. When I put on a life jacket I could just concentrate on breathing, which, really, is the most important thing.)

We did all sorts of exercises for a couple of hours and then we were done for the day. I left feeling really excited. And tired. And hungry! Does scuba burn calories? Because Casey and I both hit our lowest weight in months today.

I woke up in the night to the sound of the wind rushing over our rooftop. It sounded like an ocean dragging on the shore. An ocean of air. I started to feel claustrophobic again. I wondered if I would drop my regulator. Or get carried away by the current. I wondered if dolphins ever get rabies. Eventually I had to turn on my light and read a book. The whole thing. And then listen to another book on the ipod before I finally fell back to sleep.


olderockhouse said...

Loved the Post! Loved the descriptions and the resulting lack of sleep. I could really feel the fear there...better than a horror flick =) Seriously I am SOOOO jealous. Chad and I had gear thrown on us by vincent and we sat on the bottom of our pool and did summersaults and I loved it...Wish I could go lower.
Glad you and the Borgs get the opportunity!

Jenny said...

You need your instructor to hold your hand at night so you can sleep.
ha ha.

I remember when I first put that thing in my mouth, my only thought was 'I wonder how many people have already had this in their mouth.' I'm more of a germ freak than anything.

Sarah C. said...

Edith I had that feeling on every one of my 30 dives. (Note the period) But it got to where it took just seconds to get over it. And all that adrenaline heightens the whole experience when you are seeing wonders. Mind over matter. We really do have the technology to breathe under water even though our bodies don't want to beleive it! From what Clint tells me Belize and the Grand Cayman have some of the top 10 dive sites in the world. It will be an experience you'll be glad you had!

Sarah C. said...

P.S. I'm so sorry you missed a precious night of sleep!!

kate said...

hee hee! you funny! and crazy! i think it will be awesome and i'm so proud of you for doing it. :)

Katie said...

ok, now i have to call PADI and see if they can send me proof that i'm certified. now that you, casey, mike and victoria are doing it - i gotta go too. and i want to be there for you in case you need an underwater buddy. but i'm not the best buddy to have. i get too excited and use all my air up WAY too fast and get in trouble. what? no, that never happens.
oh, and how in the heck do you read a whole book and another book in one night? i've been reading the same book for 4 months now. tell me more of your fears and maybe i too can finish a book.
ps - i love reading your blog.

Clint said...

Since you asked, yes, a non-trivial percentage of dolphins do have rabies. As do the amberjack, and a surprising number of the sea urchins. No worries though. You don't have to outswim the rabid dolphin, you just have to outswim your dive buddy. I recommend you keep this in mind when selecting a dive buddy.

JennyHP said...

U rite good, Edith. So do all the other family bloggers, come to think of it. We should make a book.

Katie B. said...

Luckily, as you go through your course, they'll teach you pretty much every way anything can go wrong and how to solve it. With my (1) dive, the only bad part was equalizing my ears at first. After that, everything was amazing and magical. And getting certified with my family was a blast. Sam and Jeff had underwater ninja fights.

Mike McBorg said...

I was there in the pool, and Edith did great. There was no screaming at all.

Mike McBorg said...

I had quite a few oops-I-have-a-mouthful-of-water moments. And they were going pretty fast at times, so I'd go down they'd ask me to do something and I'd just shake my head frantically and pop back up to the surface. It's very fun, still kind of scary.

Star said...

I'm there with you, actually you made me feel like I was. Scuba diving terrifies me, right there with skydiving and eating liver. I am proud of you for overcoming your fear, you guys are going to have sooo much fun! I wish I could be a Hale...
Star Georgi Songer Hale Primm... has a nice ring to it!

victoria said...

Mike would like me to clarify that it was me (Victoria) making that "kind of scary" comment above. Mike would never find anything scary. He is the model of manhood and is brave, strong, courageous and handsome. He laughs in the face of drowning. He is not wimpy nor fearful. He is a masculine, manly man.

shelley d said...

Oh, I sure love you guys and all your comments! I wish I were a Hale too, Star.
Edith, if you're half as good at scuba diving (which I don't think I'll ever try cuz I'm a chicken) as you are at writing hilarious little episodes about your life, I'm sure you did just fine. Looking forward to reading about how it went - and how many rabid dolphins you managed to escape from.