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Move Over Jacques Cousteau, Dave Spencer Learns How to Scuba Dive

The Underpool World of Dave Spencer--that's me at the top (Photo by Susan Oliver, Blue Meridian Dive Center)

How often do you get to mark something off your bucket list? Well, last Saturday I got to do just that when I was taught how to scuba dive from Blue Meridian Dive Center divemaster Danny Hinton. I have always wanted to learn, and now I have. And it was just as big a blast as I thought it would be. I highly recommend it.

PREPARING TO DIVE

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I could emcee Blue Meridian’s charity event, Underwater Monopoly, on August 20th. Without hesitation, I said yes! And it was really cool how everything came together. I wasn’t sure if I would be wearing a full-on scuba suit, and I didn’t. That’s because all I really needed for the initial exercise was the special vest that accommodates the air tank, the regulators, the release valves…you know, all that good, important stuff. The biggest trick for Blue Meridian, in my mind, was going to be finding a pair of flippers to fit around these size 15 gunboats I have at the bottom of my legs. Not a problem. Blue Meridian owner Susan Oliver confirmed they had 15′s and, just like that, we were good to go.

(l-r) Deep Sea Dave, Divemaster Danny (Photo by Susan Oliver, Blue Meridian Dive Center)

GOING OFF…WELL, INTO THE DEEP END

We all met at the Owensboro YMCA on Saturday afternoon so we could use their big Olympic-sized pool. Now, I’ve known Danny for almost thirty years, so it was great to learn from an old friend. The funniest part of the whole experience, I felt, was getting used to wearing flippers. Now, as I said, my feet are size 15; the flippers are twice that long. Clowns had nothin’ on me that day. As it turns out, getting used to the flippers was actually the toughest part. Once I donned the vest and the air tank and we dropped into the water to practice breathing through the mouthpiece, I knew I was ready to go. Although I was excited to do this, I always thought I might be a little nervous getting used to only breathing through my mouth while underwater. Well, I’m happy to report that that wasn’t the case at all. I was immediately comfortable. And after learning the necessary hand signals, I was off and diving. We swam the length of the pool and back again several times. I learned not to swim so much with my arms; I was told it’s best to let my feet do the propelling. And outside of a momentary breakdown where I got water in my mask and hadn’t learned how to get it out, I was given a big thumbs up from my able instructor. It just came so naturally to me and I cannot wait to do it again.

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