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My Ears Have Been Through a Lot Today

Today was one of those days that's all about the ears. I got up, went down the mountain to the harbor, got on the boat, and headed out for my first scuba dive.

As it turns out, I'm one of those divers who gets a sharp stabbing pain in the ear on the descent, so I was slow getting down to depth (in this case, about 40 feet underwater). Once there, though, I enjoyed myself throughly. I saw some dragon wrasse, two white-tipped reef sharks, a nudibranch, a luminescent flatworm, a porcupine fish, a peacock grouper, and swarms of other fish. I got comfortable with the idea of breathing underwater, and got used to the way the currents work along the formations, and the idea of changing one's buoyancy by breathing correctly.

Of course, no one tells you just how LOUD air bubbles can be underwater, rippling past your ears. Or the fact that whale song is audible underwater, as long as you aren't breathing too deeply at the time.

The second dive was even better than the first, and over much too quickly. On the way back up, my ears were fine right until I got to the surface, when everything sounded muffled for a while.

Does the sea call to me? Well, it's very different from snorkeling, as you just aren't worried about air in the same way, and you can reach sea life that is inaccessible to the casual snorkeler.

In other words, I'll be going back, ears be damned.

Comments

( 11 sutras — Your wisdom )
richgreen01
Feb. 24th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC)
That's so cool: sharks on your first dive! If you can't seemed to equalise going down, it's worth going up a little bit, equalising, and then going back down again. Where are you diving?
the_monkey_king
Feb. 26th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Yep, I did the bob up, back down trick a lot, but I had a patient instructor.

Diving near Kona. White-tipped reef sharks are easier to find than some; they can rest on the bottom without moving because their gills actually push water (unlike most sharks, apparently).
varianor
Feb. 24th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
I like the descriptions of the experience. I've wanted to try scuba for a long time, so it's cool to hear about it. Go back for the second experience with a camera!
valmiras
Feb. 24th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Told you there was good diving in your area!

Clearing your ears gets easier with each dive.
neutronjockey
Feb. 24th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
Awww yeah!
I still remember my first dive; one of those memories that will forever stick...

I too have a hard time equalizing, but once at "cruising depth" they eq pretty well and I can enjoy the dive.

Are there any drift dives in your location? Drift dives follow known currents which reduces your locomotion and sometimes about doubles your downtime while under.
the_monkey_king
Feb. 26th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Hm, no drift dives. Debating full certification, which would get me under 40 feet and able to do night dives as well.
greyjoy
Feb. 24th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
What, no Deep Ones?
the_monkey_king
Feb. 26th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
I'm restricted to dives of about 40 feet (a little more than 2 atm pressure). I'll need a few more lessons before the instructors let me in on where to find the Deep ones. :)
oni_anne
Feb. 24th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
sounds absolutely fun!

be glad its just ear pressure. I once went snorkeling and got sinus pressure (nosebleeds) even at shallow depths. scared me to bits the first time.
(Deleted comment)
the_monkey_king
Feb. 26th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
I'll be diving the Sound soon as I get over the whole "lack of visibility" thing, and figure out whether I like the dry suit experience. We'll see.
mckitterick
Mar. 1st, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
That is so so so cool! How fun, and congrats on seeing so many exciting critters on your first dive. Some day I want to hear whalesong underwater.

Also (and sorry it's late):

Happy Birthday!

( 11 sutras — Your wisdom )

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