If you had asked me about my opinion of boats and/or SCUBA diving when I was 26, I would have said that boats involved too many people living too closely together and anyway I get ragingly sea sick and taken all together boats were the worst idea ever and if I never went out it one again it would be okay. I would have been likewise (though less passionately) negative about SCUBA diving; I probably would have said that the very idea of being under all of that water made my breath shorten and my adrenaline spike and it all seems like a Very Bad Idea.
By the time I turned 27 I was madly in love with a fully rigged ship in New York harbor.
By my 28th birthday I was working full time on a traditionally rigged schooner and living on said fully rigged ship.
It has taken me a little longer to come around to SCUBA diving, but because we carry an Undersea Specialist who takes underwater footage every trip, and because said Undersea Specialist needs a dive buddy, getting certified to SCUBA dive is encouraged and the cost of classes is reimbursed, and being able to dive on the hull is a useful skill for an engineer and another skill to add to my resume. So finally and with much grumbling I went ahead and took the classes to become certified in basic open water diving.
I actually ended up doing the required open water dives to complete my certificate in Maine in November, because sometimes I am terrible at planning. This occasioned much more grumbling, nay whining, on my part. The water was 47 degrees.
But, we are in the Sea of Cortez, and I have come up twice in the roster to be the Undersea Specialist’s dive buddy, and yet again I must admit to being utterly wrong. I am now 37 and a few months old, and last week I was fifty feet down (after a small panic attack at the surface) looking for interesting sea life for Paul to film, being watched in turn by a curious and bored sea lion who occasionally entertained herself by nipping at my fins.
Diving is the best thing since boats, which is to say, absolutely magical.