Thursday, September 06, 2007

Musings on 'life after Wham' and the deep blue sea




“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, the very next day, you gave me a dive computer”

is what George Michael might have sung had he been lucky enough to marry Mrs Stuffy, but he wasn’t , I was, and so, instead of indulging in a series of sordid nocturnal adventures in various semi-public spaces I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to test out my Yuletide gift of wrist-mounted sub-aqua hi-tech.

Which explains, (rather neatly I think) how I came to be sitting on a tatty old dive boat off Porto Pollensa a few weeks ago. Our ex-pat chum Barry the Engineer had booked me a couple of dives in two locations, the first was preceded by one of the least comforting dive briefings I’ve ever heard including such immortal lines as…

“There’s a big cave, you can go in or not, it’s up to you, if you haven’t got a torch you won’t see much, if you have got a torch, you still won’t see much”
and
“Follow me, if you like, I’ll just swim around a bit”
and
“look for the boat when you come up he’ll be following the bubbles” (whose?)
and
"check your own gear, I’m not your mum” (which was true but irritating for those of us who’d not brought our mums)

It later turned out that this particular dive-master who I’ll refer to as Bruno to protect his identity (co-incidentally his name was Bruno), was retiring from the business at the end of the season, I guess it’s always best to bow out when you’re at the top of your game.

I’ve not dived since October 2006 and I couldn’t work out why I couldn’t control my buoyancy. I’d not realized that the suit had a hood on it which, as I exhaled, was channelling my exhaled air into my suit, gradually inflating the suit and increasing the desire of my nether regions to rush to the sunshine, then, every time I looked upward I’d lose all this excess and start plummeting toward the briny depths. The cunning computer that you might remember from paragraph 1 records ones progress throughout, in retrospect this dive looked like a cross section of the Alps.

The second dive was much better, a long reef dive with a lovely arched swim-through back to the boat, a different dive-master and properly hooded and very calm I was much more comfortable with the gear, my breathing worked a treat and I started to remember why I enjoy the occasional plunge. It was nice to have a decent dive in the Med and it made a lovely calming counterpoint to the pernicious pedalling programme.

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