Underwater wombat

Occasionally, this time of year, a high-pressure system stalls and the  tradewinds hold their breath.  By Thursday, when deadlines were passed, the mares’ tail cirrus clouds that I learned about in ninth grade earth science class hinted that the system would be moving soon.   But the weather held as we headed out of the Bay. Not much wind, but there are still rollers, so Jason drove the Whaler gently, like the considerate captain he is, and we made it to the offshore rocks. Our little crew of five divers (four female doctoral students and me — yes, marine biology will soon lose its prestige with its over-representation of women in the junior ranks, not to mention all the giggling) out for a ‘proficiency’ dive.

On our second dive, we entered a large cavern. The entrance to the cavern was in shadow, and it got darker as we went further back. Colors turned to gray-scale. Waves, sometimes gently, sometimes roughly, rocking you in the water. One got a little woozy from the motion and lack of contrast.

After we surfaced, the woozy one barfed and looked miserable. (Quid pro quo from a dive we did last summer where I was the one barfing). I surprised myself a little when the old dive instructor kicked in, and I told her to relax and briskly towed her back to the boat. She would have been fine, of course, but nausea can make fools of us all. I’ve been feeling weak and old, so it was nice to be superwoman again, if trivially and briefly.

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