Certified, Not Certifiable

The title of this post refers to my sweet husband’s remark upon my announcing that I was open-water-scuba-diving certified. Apparently he’s always known that I was a certifiable lunatic; ah yes, it’s jests like that which keep the romance alive, isn’t it? Ours is a storybook love, for certain.

I spent this weekend unexpectedly diving in Aquarena Springs, formerly home to Ralph the Swimming Pig and performing mermaids. (Let me tell you, visiting that place when I was 8 was the highlight of that year–MERMAIDS. AND A SWIMMING PIG. Life just cannot top that.) And now I’ve got a temporary card in my logbook that says I’m allowed to go strap on a tank and breathe underwater any time I dang well please!

Starr in Scuba Gear

I’ve always loved swimming underwater, and tried to spend as much time as possible completely submerged. I love the pattern of light on the surface of the water and on the ground beneath, and the muffled quiet. So my husband’s been telling me for two years that I would love this, and turns out he’s right. I was just happy doing the confined-water dives in the pool last weekend; getting to dive in a place with social fish, turtles, and hoops to swim through was a fantastic treat.

What intrigued me most, though, was the different sense of space–when they say “open water,” they mean it. Even at a spring, with remarkably less depth and breadth than an ocean dive, I was amazed at how much room there was for us to swim beside, above, and below each other. I felt like I was a ship zooming around in the opening battle of Star Wars Episode 3, where Obi-Wan and Anakin are making insane use of three-dimensional space. The near-weightlessness, the ability to hover up and down, and swimming in a horizontal position much of the time truly does simulate flying. Well, flying slowly. Flying if you were Superman on a lazy Sunday just hangin’ out above the city.

Alex and I are hoping to return to Aquarena Springs in mid-March to take the scientific diver course, which teaches you about underwater archaeology and how to maintain the endangered species in the area. The only thing I hope changes in the meantime is that the water warms up in the meantime! Brrr.

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