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March 08, 2008

I feel like a total scuba failure

I feel like a total scuba failure. I really do. It's been since last August that I was diving, a couple of pool sessions not included. I really feel awful about that. In a few short months it'll be two years since I got certified and all I have to show for it is about 30 legitimate dives. And this website. How could I create this rather comprehensive website, write the equivalent of a book into this blog, and only have 30 dives to my name? I am not a slacker or procrastinator. How could this happen?

I think of all the excuses I could have for not going diving. I have no dive buddy here. Work doesn't leave me enough time to go diving. Diving trips cost a lot of money. It's cumbersome to get all my dive gear together. There's no place close-by where I can go diving. The small class of people I go certified never stayed in contact. I wasn't ready for a wreck dive in the ocean when my local dive shop invited me to go. I couldn't leave my 11-year-old son on the shore when I was all ready to participate in a salvage operation organized by a local group of divers. And so on, and so on

But those excuses don't really wash. I may not have a regular dive buddy here, but others have overcome this obstacle. I even do the diving website for a local group of divers who regularly invite me to come to their meetings and go on their trips (I never do). My work really isn't a problem. I run a suite of websites and can do most of my work from anywhere as long as I have a computer and internet access. And finding someone to look after my cat really shouldn't keep me from going on a trip. Yes, dive trips can be quite expensive, but it's not that bad. I could afford one or two year. Yes, I don't live by the beach on a tropical island where I can go dive anytime, but Lake Tahoe is closeby and so is the Northern California coast. And if the four people in my dive class didn't respond to my emails, hey, they are not the only people to go dive with. And my gear, well, it's really all neatly packed in my dive bag. It's a lot of stuff, but I do know where it all is, and I keep it all properly maintained.

So it gets back to the same thing: how can I be enthusiastic enough about diving to get certified, do my advanced class, take the Nitrox class, read enough books about diving to -- in theory -- become an expert, do all the research to do this website, and still not go dive on a regular basis?

It's not that I don't want to. I absolutely cherish the memories I have from my few dives. I think of my first night dive and how spooky that was. I think of snorkeling with the Manatees. I think of diving underneath all that duckweed at Catfish Sink to see a magical world and take a picture looking up from the bottom, exactly where the great Sheck Exley once took a picture. I think of testing all those underwater cameras. And I think of locating Rubicon wall in Lake Tahoe and then descend to 110 feet in 48 degree water. I think about the five minutes of fear and uneasiness I always have before I go under (less so in my most recent dives). And I think of the thousands of pages I read about scuba, then summarized in book reports for this website, and how I resolved to experience some of what I read firsthand.

Yet, here I am with my 30 dives. Fact is, I never did actively seek a local dive buddy. Maybe I am the kind of person who needs a kick in the butt to do something. I don't see myself that way, but at least as far as Scuba goes, apparently I am. That bites. I hate it. Sometimes it seems like, for me, diving is like going to a party. I need a major push to go, but once I am there I really enjoy myself and resolve to accept invitations more often.

As is, I have no one to blame but myself for the measly 30 dives in my scuba log.

Posted by conradb212 at March 8, 2008 03:36 PM