As a swimmer, I stink. I could serve as ballast.
People have tried to teach me to float face up, but as they scream, “Arch your back!” I slowly sink, hovering about 6 inches below the available air.
“Arch your back!” as I look like a submerged Yoga Master impaled on a stick, sounds like, “Bbblllarchh, bbllooaa bbbblllll!”
Doing the face down “dead-man’s” maneuver, I can stay buoyant for days, but unlike a dolphin, I don’t have a blow-hole in the back of my head…
I’ve almost drowned 3 times in the past, the first event occurring when I was about 4… Still, ever since Jacques Cousteau plumbed the depths on the televised voyages of the Calypso, I’ve always been enthralled with the environment underwater.
As a kid, apart from the full outfit of a snorkel and mask, enabling the aforementioned dead-man’s float, sans rubber blow-hole, I was given just the mask. Far worse than nothing… Bad idea!
Still, these were the days when people believed the nonsense that swimming within 30 minutes of eating, say, a warm tuna sandwich on the sand, would leave you with cramps.
Truth is, even after an hour, coating the children with tuna oil, before having them re-enter the surf on Jones Beach, not far from Montauk where they catch Great Whites, is FAR more dangerous than tightened muscles.
Time passed, the dream faded, and then I married my wife.
With her prior experience, she got me and my children into proper snorkeling, and then into certified diving. We have all bonded through this experience, and become better people because of it.
Swimming on the surface, I still resemble a lead weight attached to a large sand-bag. But sinking with rented scuba gear on, the last 150 dives have been a cinch.
Thanks darling. And, Happy Birthday!
You opened a world less explored than the Moon, and enabled our children to better know the earth, and indeed, themselves.