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divers in pool photo: Dorothy Pefferle
scuba divers in pool photo: Dorothy Pefferle

Russ seemed so content in the water. We newbies moved with a stronger sense of up and down, much as we would on land or swimming on the water’s surface. Turning was either with feet down or like superman, belly down moving forward through the water. His upside-down figure, feet up head down, as he turned to watch us spoke of ease in this weightless world, a different sense of space and gravity.

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I was grateful that we were taking such small steps. Each one seemed insignificant as the instructor talked, yet I found them all so unnerving as I began. I kept moving forward, doing as I was told; feigning comfort. I didn’t want the girls to know how this made my stomach tighten and my heart surge. They seemed to be happy breathing underwater, and I was surprised to find that I was not. Yet, as we finished each small step toward the ocean, my chest would begin to unclench until we started the next step.

Sitting on the bottom of the pool, the sound of the air through my regulator and the bubbles as they passed in front of my face seemed more science fiction than recreation. Darth Vader with gurgles. Our instructor, Russ, asked us to take the regulator out of our mouths, let go of it, catch it, put it back, and begin breathing again. Why was this so frightening? As I watched my 10-year-old finish this task with no hesitation or difficulty, I knew there was no way out. My turn, breathe in, regulator out, let go, sweep my arm, catch. Back in my mouth, press to clear. Breathe. I did it! My heart slows, relief.

After anticipating this for weeks, we were here; ready to experience our first dive together as a family. We had snorkeled on other vacations. Even little Marlie is fairly adept at diving down and then clearing her snorkel when she returns to the surface.  On the big island of Hawaii, we swam with the turtles and untold numbers of fish by the City of Refuge. The turtles were curious about these strange creatures coming into their sea; we repeatedly had to back away at their approach to avoid touching them. We watched one eat the remains of a coconut on the ocean floor, and wondered at the color of the butterfly fish and the scorpion fish. It seemed that the natural next step, now that Marlie was old enough, was to move to scuba gear. more...

Photo Galleries of Mexico on this site are:
Puerto Morelos

Other Stories about Mexico on this site are:
Barre de Potosi; A Road Less Traveled

copyright© Eva Gill 2009 ~ Web design, photographs,text by Eva Gill, unless otherwise noted. Video by John Gill.