State by State

Apparently there is an entire country between Boston and San Francisco.

scooter

by Natalia

If wrecks and reefs and fish don't make your diving exciting enough there are always gadgets: knife, torch, safety sausage (really) and the biggest toy of all: underwater scooter. Which of course is not a scooter but a diver propulsion vehicle or, in PADI speak, DPV. By the way, diving argot is full of acronyms. Starting from SCUBA of course, which stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, through BCD, BWRAF, CESA, DAN, DIR, PADI and VENTID. Pretty much each and every word is an acronym for something else. No wonder computer geeks were left with GNU.

No matter how you call it, the little torpedo is a lot of fun. It let's one feel like an underwater James Bond. Doing corkscrews and loops, banking into turns and impressing (translation: annoying) the hell out of not so well equipped divers. One can even hitch a ride with similar amount of body contact, if less noise, than on a Harley.

We didn't just ride it for the sheer fun. Being seriously minded people we took advanced open water diver course. Nothing says advanced diver like cartwheeling behind a propelled gizmo. Especially when you have an instructor watching over you.

Not that we were planning to hone our scuba skills in a classroom, but Florida, being part of US, is more strict when it comes to PADI regulations especially the one that limits open water certified divers to 60 feet. Other diving locations we sampled before were more relaxed: we passed 80 feet while getting certified on CuraƧao and 100 feet on Cayman Islands. That said, I'm happy we took the class. It was a blast. Thank you, Sadie!

ocean

I may never have a chance to go to another planet. But going 20 meters under water surface is the next best thing. Too bad it might not last. And I am not worried about myself. There is still enough of sites for me to dive for as long as I want. But we might be the last generation that can enjoy it. Oceans are dying on us. It's not even slow. Reefs are sick. Efforts to replant corals, however successful, have to compete with an ongoing rise in a water temperature (and no matter what you think about the reasons, the oceans are warming up). Fish population are at unsustainable levels. Unless you do go diving it's hard to appreciate what we are all losing.

friends

We are officially contagious. We passed our scuba habit on to our unsuspecting friends. They flew from Boston to Key Largo by way of Miami to meet us last weekend. We promptly signed them up for discover scuba diving class. We had some fun taking compromising pictures (not many people manage to look their best the first time they don mask, BCD, fins, tank and get into a swimming pool), but they still left vowing to take open water certification.There is a lesson here: don't try scuba diving if you don't need a new hobby. Although perhaps it's not a scuba, maybe it's our persuasive personalities. If that's the case you should steer clear of us. Hard to tell.