A Time To Dive

A time to dive.
So many times.
So little time.
Such amazing times.
Time is many things when diving.

The time is when dawn is just wisps of red. The air is crisp enough to make your eyes tear as you look for the island in the dim haze ahead. Through your feet you feel the power of the boat and below that the sea. The sky brightens adding golds and blue that shows you your destination. Beauty and adventure await. The morning chill can touch no more deeply than your skin. The heady rush of excitement makes your life crystal sharp. You are ready.

Sometimes it is the time with a warm tropical breeze blowing across your back. Your life is a stress fest of pressure and time deadlines, but now you find yourself in a hammock. You don't even know how to relax, you don't know the time, but the soft caress of the warm breeze reminds you of something you had forgotten over time or maybe teaches you something you had not yet learned. Time doesn't move. You are just amazed that such a time exists.

There is that time when you look over the side of the boat into the blue water for your first time in the ocean with scuba. Your life changed after that time.

The time ascending from deep. You've pushed your bottom time. You have a high pressure tank so gas pressure doesn't tell the true story of how much time you have. Time to hurry. You have to make a perfectly timed ascent. Judgements cannot take time. Time up to shallow. The time to pause for safety. How much time is left?

Then there is that time when you spot a lobster and in no time you have to make a perfectly timed and focused grab. Any time and it's gone.

There is photo time when you are waiting for your subject to move to the perfect position. Then there is more time as you hold your breath and wait through frozen time for the the surge to move the kelp aside. You hope and anticipate the picture will still be there to lock in that special moment in time.

There is the time the Sea Lions decided to play so you gave them your snorkle and they played with you. Long before they were done with their games, it was time to go.

There is when you free dive below the surface and time slows. Your heart and body relax to another pace as you silently move through fish that seem unaware of your passage. Time is the few extra moments in the beauty below as you learn to extend your time under the surface.

There is the time as you stand at the edge of the boat and all preparation must be complete. It is time. It is time to leave the solid ground and time to enter the water. It is time to no longer walk, but to move in another way. You go under the water and everything changes. Sight, sound and the feeling of your skin are all suddenly different. You are in another world for a time.

Time are those moments diving when you see something so extraordinary that it is frozen in your memory until the end of your time.

The time may be a season when the islands are the emerald green of the lush short lived Spring grasses. It may be the misty gray of Summer fog. It may be the harsh dry browns and yellows of Fall. It may be the crystal clear blue skys of Winter. All are good times.

Time can move fast underwater as you travel across a reef riding a current as if flying. Time can slow to a crawl as you freedive the North Coast rocks. It is like walking slowly through a redwood forest looking at all the beauty of fern and flower under walls of life that tower over you. There mortal, your time slows.

Sometimes it's just time waiting until you get in the water (or to shore) and the sickness stops. Sometimes it is the time waiting late on a frigid February night until it's time to get back into the water to warm up again.

The ocean is so dynamic that a diver may be able to see the world change. We see the change in seasons. We see reefs change, sometimes vanishing into the sand and sometimes reappearing and becoming vibrant with life. We see the animals of the reef change over the years in a natural cycle of time. I saw the cliffs of the North Coast become steeper and almost impassible over the decades and then during a stormy year, they were all knocked down to slopes of rubble. Time does that.

It is that time as unnoticed you carefully watch from aside as two divers check each other out and enter an adventure that you taught and prepared them for. They are your first students and it is an unforgetable time.

There was the time at night when I looked up between the walls of golden kelp at a moon so big and bright it froze in time.

It's the time to take off gear, get comfortable and talk to friends about the sights and adventures of the day. Time for the smell of the grill. Time to relax. Time to sleep off the the long swims and cold water. Time to dream of the beauty and doing it just one more time.

The time is late at night when you awaken and go alone on deck to absorb your solitude, the silent sound of the water, the lonesome cry of the gull, the crispness of the ocean cleansed air, the stark beauty of the night broken only by the light of star and planet. It is s magical time when you can almost hear the music of the spheres. You wish that you could capture it in your memory for all time.

The time of a dive may be a tank or a day of diving. Both are far away from your daily cares. A dive may be a time of days at some exotic shore like Truk or Belize. It is a time of beauty, wonder and excitement. It may be a time of years when you revisit an area over and over and make it your own place. It may be a lifetime of diving that is just a part of what you are. It may be times so beautiful and calm that it hurts to leave. It is, a time to dive.

Enjoy the Diving, seahunt

Back To Start

It's time to hang suits, put away gear and go for a dive in the hottub. There is no south swell, so things stayed calm as we left the island. People talk and then head for the bunks. After a few hours they start to show up on deck again for the evenings finale. The water is incredibly smooth and clear. Jellyfish can be seen as we pass. Porpoises come flying towards the boat from the sides and then go for a ride on the bow waves. Baitfish fly from the water as the porpoise come upon them. The club members are starting to get silly and try to take group pictures of the club. I watch, always an outsider. No one speaks of the regrets about the end of the trip or the creeping hand of time that has changed us all through the years of diving together. Still, the days diving has made us all so aware of our life and memories of the past dives that have defined so much of our life, that we cannot deny or ignore its passage. We will do this as long as we can and we will remember this magic as long as we live. The sun sets with a wonderous show of soft colors as we pass the east end of Anacapa Island. The night falls gently. We all feel cold in the wind of the boat's passage through the glassy water, but no one wants to leave, for the moment and the beauty are something special that will surely be gone before we can come back. Perhaps, the cold was from more than the wind.