Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands

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Taking the plunge

Taking the plungeMy boat, Holley's boat 004

Andrew Seltser came to the boat for a visit, and as I followed him aboard, I grabbed the hand rail stanchion closer cable that completes the safety lines and it fell off and into the water. Oops! An expensive part to replace, I decided to retrieve it myself. I dragged out all my scuba gear including my new double-hose regulator harking back to the earlier days of diving, then in I went with my son Jake as a dive tender.

It’s quite deep at what was then Harborview Marina just to the south of the original Friday Harbor Labs building on Warbass Way in Friday Harbor. Divers are always talking about visibility as the Holy Grail of the diving experience. Sometimes it’s nil making for a boring, unsafe dive, and sometimes it’s ‘fantabulous’, like diving in air. This day was so-so with about 15 feet visibility. As I descended I was surprised at how long it took to reach the bottom, which at 50 feet was out of sight most of the way down. Fortunately there was no seaweed there to hide the part I was looking for and I located it laying on the mud bottom. Sometimes with a strong current and lighter objects, it’s difficult to predict the glide path of lost goodies.

I didn’t linger on the bottom as I would have liked for my wetsuit had shrunk (or…er…I had gained weight) and I was having trouble breathing because of the snug suit. Isn’t that like a guy, trying to fit into pants worn comfortably way back in high school! I’m told one can never go back, and that’s true when one’s waist size increases a tiny bit each year!

I’ve been scuba diving since I was 13 years old and, given the opportunity, I’ll do it yet some more before I’m beyond the wise age of discernment where I know it ain’t gonna happen any more, sort of like an old man giving up driving.

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