Time For the Understudies

I woke this morning to the sound of rain outside my room. I showered briefly and by the time I stepped out to breakfast, still with the faintest hint of light in the sky, the last drops had past, and only a few remained to fall from the trees.

We soon boarded the boat and motored out to a brightening sky and the friendly arc of a rainbow in the West. This would be a good day.

We reached the dive site, and Francisco, our dive master, briefed us on expectations and hopped in. I followed with my backward roll, making sure my pocket was safely zipped with the backup flashlight safe therein.

This was a deep dive – ultimately to a depth of 92 feet, which is a lot of water pressure. And changes in pressure with depth. You may remember me mentioning equalizing yesterday – well it was still an issue today, and it was worse. The struggle with my left ear was distractingly bad, and occupied my attention frequently during the dive.

By the time I was at depth the pressure of my mask and the pressure in my sinuses had begun to instigate a headache. I held out as long as I could in hopes of seeing something interesting, but couldn’t process much and I was glad when this dive was over and I could return to the surface.

Back on the boat the rain had resumed and I was now cold and wet with a full bore headache. We waited (as is customary) an hour for the second dive, which I skipped to give my head a break (if you don’t feel well, you really shouldn’t dive). Instead I sat watching the crew unclog the toilet (despite some accusing glances, the clog was not my fault).

By the time the dive was complete and the others had returned, the headache was somewhat better but not gone. It didn’t resolve until excedrin, lunch, and a nap had been invoked.

Late in the afternoon, the sun had returned with a viscous humidity to boot. I went to the grocery store, and upon exiting I noticed that my original dive computer had condensation in the front glass. Later that evening I found that the buttons weren’t working right.

Somewhere along the line the old girl seems to have sprung a leak. I’ll take her to the shop when I get home to see if she can be repaired, but am not expecting much.

Just before bed, I pulled the backup dive computer out of the pocket of my BCD and looked at it, thinking “I’m pretty sure I know how this works.” And I was glad I travel with a spare.

In the end today wasn’t exactly what I hoped for, but I got a nice nap out of it and the afternoon ended up sunny. Most importantly, however, my redundancies so far seem to be paying off. Every trip doesn’t go perfect, and that’s OK. I can still look forward to diving again tomorrow.

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