Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Time... I never have enough of that. That and air are the two things I need the most when I'm photographing underwater caves. Wits, that another thing I need, so three things I never seem to have all three at the same time in a cave. That's not entirely true, I have been calm and collected but I think I load myself up so much with "new" that I can't get it all together. I don't have that relaxed feeling underwater just yet. Maybe I never will. My instructor told me she was concerned my dive buddy maybe wasn't aware he SHOULD be a little nervous cave diving. That gave me a great comfort that she felt it was OK to be nervous, if not a requirement. I always said to the guys in Mexico, "I'm not worried, I'm concerned". I think that's more what she means.
As I write this, it's been almost two months since my last cave dives. I still think about how rattled I got, finding my self upside down on the ceiling of that cave. In fact, I think about it all the time time. To this day, I'm not even sure why it rattled my so hard. Hell, I had plenty of gas, I'd been in this cave before, had one of the best cave instructors in the world watching me flounder on the ceiling. So why so worried? I think it was the 'NEW".
Looking back, it is a comfort to see the professionalism in which she got me out of there. Golden Rule of diving, "ANY diver can call ANY dive at ANY time for ANY reason". I called the dive and she was like, "OK... Let's go!" She got my ass off the wall and calmed back down and brought me to my senses. Looking back, I was panicked. I broke MY golden rule which is "Stay calm and breathe... in that order". I did manage to keep breathing WHICH should have been a clue to me that all was well and so I only broke half of my golden rule.
What happened to put me ass-over-tea kettle, was I was diving a drysuit for the first time in my life, a "NEW". As well as diving side-mount, meaning my tanks are to my side and not on my back, again, another "NEW". I was slightly task loaded having to manage the gas in my drysuit as well as my BCD to maintain buoyancy while monitoring the gas I was breathing. Swapping regulators as needed to keep both tanks somewhat equal in the amount of gas they had. And as my instructor told me later, there is a reason there is a class in this. It ain't easy. So, all this plus I want to drag a camera and five strobes underwater deep into a black hole and make magic!

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