When I was in college in San Luis Obispo, eons ago, one of my roommates was a diver.
He dove off the coast often, and would bring back dinner. Which was cool. But he used
to tell me about the lousy vis and the cold water.
There's a place in San Luis Obispo, CA, called
SLO Ocean Currents, and they offer guided dives in the area. So on a recent trip down
there (my wife's family lives in Atascadero, and Rebecca's family lives in San Luis Obispo)
we decided to take them up on the guide. They set us up with Kale.
We met him there that morning - I got there about 20 minutes early, but it turned out both
Rebecca and Kale were already there - and got suited up. Kale is about half our age,
probably, but 10 times the diver. Which isn't saying that much. :-) But we got in the water
and he and Rebecca went down. I tried, but kept hyperventelating at the surface, and when
I got in the water. I think it's a combination of not diving enough (not enough experience),
cold water, and being out of shape. Whatever it is, I tried about 10 times to desend, and
couldn't do it. Kale came up to find out what was going on, and told me to relax, and I
was about to try it again and Rebecca popped up. She had had the same problem underwater -
hyperventelating. But when she came up, she came up too fast for her ear, which started to
hurt, and ended her diving day.
I felt bad about that, and so did Kale, but realistically, when your ear hurts, you SHOULD
quit for the day. So Kale helped her back up on shore and then the two of us acutally made
It was really cool! There were sea hares all over the place, they look like big slugs. BIG
slugs. Some of them were bigger around then my arm. And there were lots of nudibranchs, which
I've seen before on other people's web sites, but never in real life. They were really
colorful. Then we turned a corner and saw a guitar fish. Kale said later that it was dead,
which would explain why it was just laying there and didn't care about us. And another one
who's name I'm gonna have to look up.
Then we went past a rock into some grass, and I noticed Kale had his knife out. Now, a diving
knife isn't a weapon, it's used for cutting your way out of anything you get tangled in,
basically. But to look down and see your guide gliding along with a knife out isn't the most
encouraging thing in the world. I was looking around for something I needed to get away from.
Later he said he was just cutting some old fishing line free. Whew. :-)
I almost called off the second dive, since Rebecca was still there and had nothing to do
but watch our bubbles, plus I was tired. But she said she'd meet me at the dive shop in SLO
(cuz she wanted to see it) and took off to go home and change. So Kale and I went back down
on another dive.
We went the other way this time, back towards shore. There was an old shipwreck there, which
was just a few timbers laying around that you could tell used to be a ship, if you already
knew what it was beforehand. :-) It was very old, and not very deep. But we saw a lot of
creatures that dive, too.
The only problem I had with that dive was when we got up, I hyperventelated again. I haven't
done it AFTER a dive, and I think it was just that I was tired. Back to the "out of shape"
Other than Rebecca's ear, it was a pretty good day. We plan on going again some day and taking
it easy on her ear. We also plan on going diving at least once or twice a month for the
experience. I should say _I'M_ planning on it. She never actually bought into the idea. :-)