The other day I felt the need to get away. Not from anyone or anything in particular, just the need to get away. Sometimes I think a ride in the elevator alone would do the trick, a drive in my truck or sitting on a hill top overlooking just about anything. But the quiet and silence I feel I need wouldn’t be there in any of those places. Motors humming, birds, bees, yapping dogs, people, etc. And I still have a lot to do. Maybe I could fit something in.
I checked the time and realized that I didn’t have time to get away and do the chores that I had to do. So the chores naturally took precedent. But looking at my watch did give me a smile.
It was the watch that I bought as a graduation gift to myself. After forty years in the trying, I graduated from college…with honors…and it was well deserved…at least I thought so. It is an expensive Invicta Novia III dive watch. I believe it is able to reach 300 meters and return to the surface in perfect condition… much better condition than if I exposed my body the those pressures.
So what is the sense of owning a watch that will never reach its potential? Prestige…personal prestige…and it’s all mine. (Sound like a 5 year old…but who cares.)
Back when I was in the US Navy I worked hard to get into and through Deep Sea Dive School. It was a dream of mine since I was 16. After all the morning, afternoon, and evening PT, the grueling days in the classroom, the pool, the “Tank” and the ocean I made it. I was informed that when I got to my first permanent billet that I would be given personal dive gear. A tailor made wet suit, mask fins, regulator and dive watch would be assigned to me permanently.
My first dive billet on the ship was temporary and since all the permanent dive billets were full, no gear would be purchased for me. A phone call to my new detailer and with new orders in hand, I shipped off to ACB 1…that’s Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 in Coronado California. And since I had the most extensive training in the dive locker I immediately became the senior diver. In charge of and responsible for all diving operations that we undertook. I also became the supply petty officer. You got it, responsible for the upkeep and ordering of all equipment in the locker. From compressor parts to tanks and regulators to personal diving gear. That’s fins, mask, wetsuits and dive watches. Everyone in the locker was wearing a Rolex Oyster because that was the watch to have. Buuuut the new captain had recently decided that he felt the divers were primadonnas and he was out to make life for us miserable. He cut our budget and eliminated the money for the much needed watches. In his words “Only essential dive gear would be purchased.” In other words just guess at how long you have been under and fill you’re your dive log accordingly. Therefore watches were to come out of our pocket…you got it …I could only afford a Seiko; none of the prestige and OK for sport divers, but not the preferred watch (that the other divers were allowed to keep) for one of the most highly trained and most highly qualified divers in the world. So needless to say I have been coveting a great dive watch for many…many…many years. Opportunity knocked, so I opened the door!
What does this watch have to do with getting away? Well it reminded me of how much I truly love and miss diving. I even took a diving class during my last semester at Southern Oregon University. It felt so good to get wet…even if it was only in the school pool. I even broke out my own regulator from my Navy days…yep still worked…well maintained professional gear will seldom let you down. Floating at negative buoyancy beneath the surface, in total silence and feeling alone is just the place to be when you need to get away. No sounds, no distractions…and close your eyes no disturbances at all. Float…breath…relax…no pressure on my aching knees, just what the doctor ordered!
So I have been up in the attic searching for my tanks to have them tumbled and tested…have to buy a new wet suit as I no longer have the rock hard body of a well trained Navy diver.
I was wondering how I got that way and vola my friend Jim Mau (hey Jimmy, how does it feel to have your name up in lights?) sent me a link to recent Naval Diver training videos…NOW I REMEMBER!