The Depth of It All

I’m off the deep end, watch me dive in

I’ll never meet the ground

Crash through the surface

Where they can’t hurt us

We’re far from the shallow now

             “Shallow” by Lady Gaga

As we head south to our bi-annual sanctuary of Hilton Head Island, I can’t wait until I reunite with the Atlantic Ocean. While it’s too cold to swim, visiting an ocean or walking the beach brings me an inner peace and comfort which many studies suggest is good for you mentally.

No surprise there.

scenic view of beach
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I would love to really explore the depths of the Atlantic ocean, or any ocean, but right now, I just don’t have the nerve to take SCUBA classes. I’m not exactly claustrophobic, but I must admit, I don’t like super-deep water. Perhaps it’s the intense pressure and pain my 12 year-old ears experienced since I twisted, flipped, and cannon-balled from the club pool board into the 12-foot “deep” end.

Ouch.

Instead, we’ve snorkeled just off the bleached sands of The Cayman Islands, where there’s a real-life paradise of tropical fish, colorful coral, and, if you plan ahead, stingrays. A trip to Stingray City is well worth the time (and a slight expense) to frolic in knee to chest-deep water with the enormous, mystical creatures, who look like they can simply fly out of the aqua waters and into the sky.

gray fish
Photo by Will Wu on Pexels.com

Chest-high water is great, but diving “deep” with a snorkel is just…well… painful! I’m hoping to combat that with my next physical – and numerous questions – to my family physician (who seems to want to retire to some beautiful blue waters himself someday).

To combat that deep-water fix I long for, there are some great aquariums to visit in our wonderful country. One of them is The South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s vast aquarium to view all walks – or swims – of ocean life and to learn about our amazing oceans – and a lot of fun to experience at feeding time. Divers venture into the tank in to hand out krill and chum to the fish – and the sharks. Talk about fearless – and probably the best job ever if you have no fear.

group of people taking picture of shark
Photo by Valdemaras D. on Pexels.com

My husband’s friend has been after me to try SCUBA to really get deep and see what lies beneath the ocean.  It scares me, but I’m not dissing it just yet.  Bob is a HUGE – I mean HUUUGE — SCUBA guy, and has has sent me postcards, brochures with gorgeous pictures and incentives to give it a whirl (or dive). About a year ago, left me a message on our office answering machine (yes, we still have one of those)…

“Hi I’m calling for Misses Caroline Stanistreet, this is Bob from down South…and you are prepared to go on a great adventure with the underwater world and it could be super cool…and…oh, gosh, if you get inspired, give me a holler, we would love to have you down in Key Largo and the North Florida Keys…give me a call…”

I haven’t erased this message yet.  Nor do I plan to.  Bob’s cheerful voice is my little reminder that anything is possible.  And between Bob’s postcards and my upcoming Masters swim meet (the first one I was going to do was cancelled), maybe I’ll get the mojo to give SCUBA – and the depths – a try. Stay tuned!

Author: sinkorswim204

I'm a “veteran” Broadcast producer as well as a former high school and collegiate swimmer who still loves to write. I hope to inspire others to stay afloat in these often turbulent waters while enjoying some new challenges in my middle age.

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