May 22, 2024 5 min read 2 Comments

Crossing Currents / Invasive People/ Wearily Hot

There’s a lot of strong currents out there. We are a big country and it’s an election year. Wait, what… I mean it’s a big earth and there’s a lot of water on it. I experienced first hand how not to swim across a strong current a long time ago, while diving by myself. Although solo diving ads risks, it isn’t illegal. You can add additional risk by driving a boat out all by yourself, anchoring it, and jumping in the water to spearfish.  That would be me back in my 20’s as I had a lot more brawn than brains. I like to think that those have reversed, but I know for sure I have a lot less brawn! The first rule when leaving your vessel unattended while diving is to play out plenty of anchor line and descend down it to be positive the anchor isn’t going to pull out. Ideally, make sure it’s hooked in debris and at the end of the dive move it into the sand before you ascend.

This particular dive was productive and I was feeling good about myself as I surfaced and saw the boat waiting for me about 100 yards away. I was directly off the starboard side of the boat and I put my face in the water and started swimming towards it. Thirty seconds or so later, I picked my head up and although I had gotten closer to the boat, I was now viewing it from an angle where I could now see the transom (back of the boat) and the starboard side. It felt like I should’ve been closer so I put my face back down and started kicking harder towards the boat. The second time I picked my head up, I had closed to within 50 yards of the boat, but was now looking almost directly at the transom and not the starboard side. I was feeling winded but had no choice other than to lower my head and swim as efficiently as I could directly into the current now. I picked my head up again hoping to be close to the boat, but I was still about 30 yards away and feeling fatigued. The current was ripping, I was kicking hard and barely making headway. The thought kept repeating itself in my brain: what if I can’t make it back? That wasn’t an option so I did like Dory… Just keep swimming swimming swimming. I was totally spent and even more relieved when I finally grabbed the tagline.

Back on the boat, I replayed the scenario over and over in my mind. I shouldn’t have been swimming towards the boat, I should’ve been angling far in front of it. By not tacking against the current, it pushed me downstream from the boat instead of swimming towards it. Lesson learned the hard way! Shortly after that, I was telling a ‘Buddy’ of mine the story. He blurted out, “you could’ve slipped out of your BC and let it float to make the swim back to the boat much easier and then go pick up your scuba unit.” He then proceeded to tell me his story about him having to do that, which blows my story away. Learning from others mistakes is good, but one story per newsletter is enough. However, I will gladly tell that story next Friday at Margaritas after Mike Sipos‘s presentation!

I wonder if Mike has a presentation on dealing with invasive people as well as species? Like swimming through a strong crosscurrent, both must be navigated with caution and precision. I also wonder if divers on the whole are less likely to be invasive people compared to the general population? My initial thought on that proposition is oh yeah, definitely! In speaking with friends and people that own businesses, one of their major gripes is dealing with rude and unappreciative people. There are plenty of challenges that come with owning a dive shop, but invasive clientele is not one of them. Thank you for that! The question becomes, why is that? I truly believe there is an internal transition that occurs when we are breathing underwater. It’s a difficult to describe calming excitement. We are connecting with nature in a way that not many people are able to. We hyperspace into a different realm while we dive. For me, one of the most beautiful aspects of diving is detaching from the world as we know it. Our cell phones are left behind and forgotten. Our ‘to do’ list is temporarily meaningless and suspended. We become an explorer of a greater unknown. Our sole (soul) mission is to connect with nature and look for cool things that in one little way or another thrill us internally. It’s a beautiful thing and on the whole we are beautiful people! Live it, own it, spread it!!

We had beautiful conditions yesterday on dives at the nine nautical mile (third) reef. Great vis, flat seas and warm water. For May 21st, 84° isn’t just warm… It’s really hot. If you’re not aware of the correlation between warm sea temperatures and fueling potential hurricanes, hopefully you don’t live near here. It makes me weary, but it is what it is and there’s nothing I can do about it. Mother nature and the weather aren’t the villain, they’re victims. To me, there is an ominous foreboding that has been brewing for a while globally. I can’t let that unsettling, helpless feeling live and foster inside of me. It’s a cancer. A quickly metastasizing malignant cancer! I’m not aware of any pamphlets that will help me deal with those feelings. There’s not a 1-800 number crisis hotline for dealing with the emotional impacts of climate change. There’s not a ‘staying positive while dealing with climactic weather changes for dummies’ book. I’ve spent way too much time contemplating what is now confronting us all and how to deal with it. There is no right answer. For me, it boils down to simply connecting with nature.  If I could waive my magic wand, I’d make everything alright.  Somewhere between my 20’s and now on the brink of turning 60, my magic wand vaporized.  I’ve looked all over but it’s gone. I’m left to resort to my favorite painkiller, although it is addictive, all of the side effects are positive…dive Dive DIVE!!!

I hope you are able to join us on the 31st and regardless of that:

Live, Love, Dive  —Jeff

2 Responses

Jeff Ludwig
Jeff Ludwig

June 15, 2024

I love reading the Chronicles! Hope you’re well!


June 15, 2024

Hey thanks for the news letters – i keep meaning to visit your business and get into it one of these days. To the fututre and beyound

A canadian

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