Tag Archives: SCUBA diving

Melody's Adventures

24 Mar

Salt Water Scuba

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

I have always been an adventurer, even as a child. I had so many questions, Oh how I would have loved the Internet then to ask a million questions.

Whenever I am by a body of water, I am always intrigued by so many questions. What lives in it? What is under the surface? What is in the depths? What treasures live there?

The element of water has always intrigued me. I am mesmerized by it’s reflections, movements, sparkle, the feel of it on your skin, the pleasure of weightlessness and the quenching of my thirst. It is the most important life force on this planet.

When I was in my thirties I decided to take scuba diving lessons. Since I live in Florida, it is a must for exploring our diverse water systems. The classes were hard and it was a rugged adventure going for all my diving certifications. It took bravery, strength and will. It wasn’t easy, but the drive of wanting to explore the earth took over and gave me the necessary skills. Scuba diving is like exploring another planet. It is not for everyone, but I would like to share my experience and awe with you. 

There are two kinds of diving. Fresh water and salt water. After the basic dive certification, I was ready for a salty reef dive. The main mode of transportation to get to a reef is on a dive boat. It is a fast and enjoyable ride out to the reef. However, I must take motion sickness med’s beforehand. I have a sensitive stomach and I end up feeding the fish my breakfast when the boat stops if I don’t put on a Dramamine patch.  Not fun. Once at our destination, when the captain says ready to dive, we sit on the edge of the boat and fall backwards into the clear, blue green water. As soon as the bubbles move out of the way, we turn tail and head to the bottom. As soon as I look down, I am in awe when I get my first look at the most incredible world below. A salt water reef is a magical place of colors, shapes, textures, movement, sizes and it’s all alive. Your eyes can’t take in all that is there. There is not only beautiful fish, but amazing corals, crustaceans and mystery creatures. It is another living blessing from God.

Sometimes you will even see things that make you stop breathing. Scary things that are part of this life, their life. Barracuda with their big teeth, big eyes and daunting behavior of staring and following you. I remember one scare in particular when I was snorkeling in the sunshine and swam through the shadow casts by a bridge. My eyes couldn’t adjust for the light right away, but when It did, I was face to face with a barracuda looking right at me. Fortunately I didn’t have anything shiny on,  which they are attracted to. They are just curious. It was a great experience. 

Next week we go fresh water diving!

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Coral

15 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Recently, I had a look at some coral, but only in a nice safe aquarium shop where the tanks shone with black-light and displayed tiny bits of coral growing on bases. It was a delightful, cool place to be and a young clerk was kind enough to answer my questions without pressuring me to buy. I never knew that such a thing as a coral farm existed and I realized that if I ever got a yen to see coral again, the coral farm or a public aquarium were the places for me.

I’ve accomplished the two things that were on what is now called a bucket list. I can’t think of anything else I want to do because I’m living the life I want and I’ve been lots of places, already. One thing I wanted to do was to SCUBA dive. There wasn’t much chance of that as you had to take classes, be certified, and buy a lot of expensive equipment, and don’t forget, practice, practice, practice. Frankly, I didn’t want to bother with it or pay for it, even though undersea videos and experiences with snorkeling had always fascinated me.

Then Bill and I went to a Caribbean island on vacation and lo, they offered SCUBA diving! We only had to take one class in the resort’s pool in borrowed equipment. Piece of cake. After our lesson, we were excited about the next day when we’d go to the beach, get in a boat and be outfitted for our dive over a coral reef. Yes, I can swim. Not a great swimmer, but okay. I’ve always been able to float pretty well if I needed to rest.

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The water at the beach was almost body temperature so our bathing suits were fine. There were about six other people on the boat who would take their turns. The trainer gave me a mask. I knew about using a mask from snorkeling. Then she put a lead-weight belt around my middle. Next the flippers and air tank went on. By the time they got me outfitted, I could barely hold myself up, let alone walk. Two native crew-men one on each side walked me to the gunwale where they lifted me over onto the ladder.

I’m the one with the pink flippers on.

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Underwater I was so amazed by the beautiful colors and patterns of the coral that it took a few seconds to notice that I was sinking and would soon crush coral. My mask was fogging up so I couldn’t see. I swam hard trying to stay off the bottom. There was no one in my range of vision. Finally I decided I needed to make my way back to the ladder and when I got there, the trainer and Bill came right away. I gave the signal to go up, and the trainer mimed for Bill to stay at the ladder. He hovered, but knowing Bill, I figured he would need to explore a bit in the short time the trainer was getting me on board. Doing that, he could get into trouble or get lost and there would be no one to save him, so I motioned that I had changed my mind. For the rest of the short time we were down I clung to the ladder and concentrated on breathing.

When our time was up, Bill and the trainer returned. I climbed the ladder and two crew members lifted me into the boat. They took off the tank, mask and flippers and set me down. They threw a towel over my shoulders because they could see I was shivering. I pulled it close and soaked up the warmth of the sun.

The next day Bill wanted to go for a longer tour. Of course, Bill came back safely, raving about all the wonders he’d seen. I was glad for him, but I mentally crossed SCUBA off my want-to-do list, and eventually found other ways to enjoy the wonders of the deep. Oh, by the way, “Finding Nemo” is one of my all-time favorite movies. I can hardly wait until “Finding Dorry,” comes on Netflix.

 

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