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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Scuba! - 4/5/2008

Following a leisurely cycle to South Queensferry with Brian and Callum, where we explored the purported "new route" along the coast (it's been there for years, just now it is officially an NCN route), I got my first taste of scuba diving.

Deep Blue Scuba has monthly Discover Scuba sessions at Merchiston Castle School. Leisurely bike ride led to lateness, so I ended up not going in the pool at the same time as Amy. It's a shame, really. I didn't miss much of the pep talk beforehand, so it really wouldn't have mattered, but whatever. She got scubaed up and immediately did an underwater somersault. The gradual introduction in the shallow end led to eventual pottering in the deep end. The pool went from loud to silent as all of the students and instructors dropped below the surface.

My shot followed not long after she left. One of my instructors for the day took my camera (with orders not to photograph any of the children in the pool) and the three of us students attempted to get organised into all of the gear. Graceful it wasn't. I had to try a second mask because the first one they gave me was well too big. Soon enough, we were underwater and breathing strangely.

I felt like I was hardly breathing at all, with the air not seeming to get past my mouth. A little bit of dizziness suggested it was the case and I ignored instructors as best I could to focus on breathing semi-normally. The regulator doesn't really mesh well with truly normal breathing. I didn't want to mention dizziness to anyone because it wasn't serious but I knew they would freak out. I fiddled with buttons to adjust the air in my vest, whose acronym I forgot immediately. I wanted to see what a little bit of trimming would do, but overly helpful instructors snatched buttons out of my hands, deflated me quickly and thwarted my fiddling.

We played underwater frisbee, which I know Amy would be jealous of, as gradually they lured us into deeper water. Both of the other students had to surface to fiddle with things. I was pleased that my mask had been dealt with early because I didn't have to surface at all. Brian found the deep end porthole and seemed to enjoy watching.

One of the other instructors nicked the frisbee, so instead we all posed for a couple of class photos. Eventually, being in the pool got a bit boring. There's only so much swimming in slow circles you can do before it gets old. Scuba isn't really an energetic sport, so I wondered if I got bored before or after Amy did.

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