Edited. Via http://sensuelle92000.tumblr.com
Out of the blue and in to the black…
39.6. Added together equals nine, my favorite number.
At 39.6 meters beneath the surface of the Thai gulf, there’s not much to see. We were in the thermocline yesterday and it’s full of silt. Like being in a brown-ish snowstorm.
We went there for my first technical dive certification. Tec 40. We tied off a reel to a rock on Chumphon Pinnacle and swam west along the bottom. Once we hit our needed depth, my instructor gave me a dive plan and had me modify the deco stop times to allow for a depth error. The narcosis I felt @ 40m was more profound than @ 30m, so it took me a few to get my brain rolling sufficiently to do the math.
At this depth, making an immediate ascent to the surface in the event of an emergency really isn’t an option as the consequences would be appreciable. The other fact of physics when doing a decompression dive is if a diver switches to the wrong deco gas while coming up for stops, it could be fatal. Breathing gas under water and at depth requires awareness and planning.
While I was doing the math, the reality of all that was happening gave me a thrill unlike anything I’ve had in recent years. I’ve always felt a foreigner in this body and on this planet, but the body can breathe on the surface. Without who knows how many kilos of junk strapped to my back, it can’t under water. Somehow, I feel less removed when in the ocean. Perhaps it’s because water has more mass then air and closer to the water content of the human body. Perhaps the necessity of the gear is reminiscent of the survival gear I’ve felt I’ve needed to own to make it in this lifetime on the surface.
I haven’t cared if I’ve “fit” into life for a long time as my existential education has taught me to know that fitting and belonging doesn’t matter nearly as much as people generally think. Life underwater has no judgement, no criticism, no expectation. It’s all about physics and the food chain down there, and diver’s don’t look like good eating to the other inhabitants. So, we observe… becoming witnesses for as long as the dive plan and the gasses permit… I’ll take it.
Eventually, I’ll be heading down towards 100 meters as my training continues - further, I’ll become an instructor in all of this Tec stuff and show people what the confines of physics feels like while expanding outwards into the vast ocean…
It’s whole ‘nother reality down there and in the time ahead, when the learning experiences take hold and proficiency and experience is gained, I’ll leave Koh Tao and head to much deeper waters with more things to see… Indonesia, the Philippines and who knows where else…
First technical dive certification: Tec 40, 16/7/2014