Monday, May 24, 2010

Lion Fish & Sand Tigers & BARR-acuda....oh my!

The title is slightly misleading because one barracuda is all I saw of those three creatures today. However, on any given day I could see any one of those three things, and it made for a better title, that is if you get the reference. I did get to see quite a few fish and a large stingray.

The main objective of the dive was to see the German Submarine U-352 (click on link to see pictures).

Before coming to North Carolina I had not been on any wreck dives, and wreck diving brings with it a very surreal sensation. As you descend the anchor line, trying to peer through the slightly hazy visibility, searching for a ship that you have only seen pictures of, you are overcome with a weird mixture of emotion consisting of overwhelming excitement and yet total calm that is only achieved in a sport like scuba diving where you are filled with anticipation, but there is literally no other sound to be heard through the medium of water except for your own breath creeping up in air pockets around your ears as it seems to dance toward the surface. Then, as you reach a depth of 70 feet, the submarine begins to appear out of the haze, and it slowly takes shape; it almost seems to be floating toward you like a ghost ship instead of you approaching it. Then as you reach the hull at 100 feet and you place your hands on a piece of history that is slowly deteriorating and also perfectly preserved by nature for her own purposes, you are reminded that redemption is possible. To see a machine of destruction and death subdued and rehabilitated into a source of life for any sea creatures who choose to make this home. Designed and built for the sole purpose of bringing death, this idle machine has no choice but to support life. It is easy to see that after we have eliminated this planet's ability to support the human race, mother nature will softly and slowly intercede and begin to reform what we have built into something new and supportive of all life.

Then, after twenty minutes of exploring the wreck, which is all the time my computer allows for that depth on the enriched air that I was breathing, i give my dive buddy the signal to ascend. Once aboard the boat, I quickly chuck my gear and begin hurling over the starboard side. That's right, I began feeling seasick before ever entering the water, and I fought the urge to vomit the entire dive, but I could suppress my stomach's heaving no longer; so I gracefully embraced the inevitable and gripped the handle on the side of the boat and gave it hell. We still had an hour boat ride to the next dive site, where I really wanted to go because I was hunting for sand dollars for our friends Emma and Anna. So during that miserable hour I lay inside the boat with my face covered thinking about how I would recount the dive on here. Then, despite how I was feeling, entered the water again at the next dive site. The seasick feeling did not surrender until we were back on stable ground unfortunately; however, even if I knew I was going to be sick the entire day, I still would have gone on the dives; it was completely worth it.

So if diving sounds like something you could get into based on this account, seasickness and all, then get your certifications and come on out, I give my word that it will be worth it.

Is that something or is it nothing?


1 comment:

  1. I liked your thoughts on redemption. It sounded beautiful. Also you can pick me up some sand dollars as well. Thanks.