Monday, January 01, 2007

The Swimming Song...

This summer I went swimming
This summer I might have drowned
But I held my breath, I kicked my feet
Moved my arms around
I moved my arms around

(Lyrics: Loudon Wainright III)

Well, finished my diving course yesterday, so a bit of a burst from me.
I now have the grand total of 4 salt water dives (and a day splashing in a pool) under my belt and am a fully (fooly?) qualified open water diver.

Most interesting thing I found though after all the big kerfuffle about past asthma, the thing which (I think) would really threaten to bump people off is carrying the _bloody gear_ in the heat of summer. Nobody mentioned that (other than in very oblique passing).
On the first day in the sea we went to Port Noarlunga reef (I have done some snorkelling there so it wasn't unfamiliar territory). First dive we dressed on the lawns and walked out to the first steps (about midway along the jetty). That was a bit of a struggle, but once in the water it becomes very easy as a person becomes neutrally bouyant (or near enough). Later in the day we went out to the far end of the jetty, a much longer walk. After the second dive, my partner was so tired I offered to carry her weight belt back. It was only when I was laying in bed that night I started to put 2 and 2 together. Each belt (hers and mine) weighed 12 kg. My tank was about 15kg (empty) as far as I can tell. 15+12+12=39 kg (not counting a few extra kilos for vests, suit, regulators and miscellaneous swimming paraphenalia). Thirty nine _bloody_ kilograms. That's more than half my body weight! If I did this sort of thing for a job, there would be OH&S rules against it! So I went out first thing next morning and bought a cheap sack truck to carry the gear on. :-) What a huge difference it made to get into the water breathing normally and not too overheated to start with. After the three swimming days I had lost 2 kg of body weight. Very gratifying, but hard work!

I am still amazed that some of the smaller folks (a late teeneage girl and her younger brother) could carry the stuff so apparently easily without dying in the heat.

Anyway, far from the above gripe might sound, it was pretty good fun. Never drowned, never got eaten by sharks, didn't get stuck down there and no noticeable effects on my breathing. The instructor wants to gee us all up so is organising a boat trip to "the dredge" off Glenelg in the next couple of weeks. I am looking forward to that :-)

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