It never fails. When I go on a beach vacation with friends, the following conversation always happens with my well-intended companions:
Them: “Hey! So we’re going diving tomorrow. You’re in, right?”
Me: “Um, well. Nah.”
Them: “What? Why not? You’re certified, right?”
Every time. Because I’m generally an athletic and adventurous person, people always assume that I’m some sort of SCUBA savant, with zillions of dives under my belt, ready to take on the giant squid who live twenty-thousand leagues under the sea.
Uh….no. Not even a little bit.
Sure, I love to run, hike and climb. Bag a peak? Sure, I’d love to! But dipping under the surface in open water? Frankly, it kind of terrifies me.
Nevertheless, the question always comes up when I take a trip to the tropics. Do you want to go SCUBA diving? Oh I can’t – I’m not certified! But you can get certified on this trip! All you have to do is spend a day taking classes in the shallow end of the pool!
Well, that sounds like a fun way to spend my vacation. Let me strap a heavy oxygen tank on to my back and spend the entire day going up and down the 8-foot depth of the resort pool while the rest of you assholes get sloppy at the swim-up bar.
Yeah. No thanks.
They press: But you’re missing out! You wouldn’t believe what amazing things you’ll see under the water!
Oh, I think I know what’s down there.
I watch a lot of Discovery Channel. Clearly, the ocean is full of things that will sting, pinch, bite and poison you.
Not to mention the fact that the whole process sounds complicated and scary as all hell. Weights around your waist to drag you down to the appropriate depth. Heavy tank on your back. Try to breathe normally, or you’ll suck up all of your oxygen! Don’t go back up too quickly or you’ll end up on an episode of House!
My lounge chair is looking pretty good right now.
So when people finally get it that I’m not going to shell out hundreds of dollars to acquire the necessary training to visit the sea floor, they invariably suggest SCUBA’s dorky little brother: snorkeling.
I’ll be honest: snorkeling kind of sucks, too. I’ve never encountered a snorkel mask that didn’t leak and I’ve never been able to float along the surface of the sea without constantly managing to suck water down the air pipe.
And, really? It’s cool to peek beneath the surface, but…
You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. Maybe my ever-flooded mask is distorting my vision…but that’s just a bunch of fish…and fish…and fish….
Really, when it comes down to it, all of this stems from the fact that I’m a giant pussy. At least when it comes to anything related to the ocean.
I’m convinced that people are just wired differently – everyone has their own matrix of braveries and fears. Me? I’ll happily climb a mountain or live on a trail, out of a backpack, among the bears and beasts. River rafting? Sleeping under the stars? Bring it on. But descend the depths of the sea? I shudder.
But I’m okay with that. I’ve spent been lucky enough to explore the peaks and valleys of some of the earth’s most beautiful places, from the Cascades and Sierra Nevada and Joshua Tree to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Someone else can call dibs on the bottom of the ocean.
I’ll be snoozing on my beach chair, possibly having rum-fueled nightmares.
Take it from me.
You have fun with your underwater adventures. I’ll be here when you get back.
I’ll probably be drunk, though!
bahahahah! Love all your Paint! pictures. Scuba diving sounds awesome, but I’m one of those weirdos that enjoys all things ocean.
Enjoy your beach chair & rum-fueled nightmares! Those are probably more pleasant than almost drowning because your weight belt is to heavy. 😉
Please write a book, and illustrate it! You crack me up! I hope you had a great vacation.
“A million tiny scary things” — ROFL. Agreed. F that.
Totally agree. 🙂
Too funny! I just had a similar conversation with friends about scuba diving last weekend. They are both certified and love it, but I am pretty dang sure I would never do such a thing.
There’s a reason why I run instead of swim, water is scary!!
I will be on the lounge chair with you. Corona and gossip magazine in hand 😉
Let me just tell you that I am certified and don’t like it. While it’s cool to explore sunken ships and whatnot, the anxiety starts a whole 3 days before the dive, making the whole thing NOT worth it. See you on the beach!
Scuba diving=HIGHLY OVERRATED!
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No scuba diving for me, either. Beyond the ample list of reasons you’ve already covered, I also can’t swim beyond an anxious doggy-paddle.
But you’re right, everyone that has heard about my Bahamas trip next week inevitably says “oh, you just HAVE to go snorkeling!” or “you should totally go scuba diving if you get the chance!” Yeah, thanks, but no thanks.
I gotta admit the creepy, slimy creatures in the ocean freak me out a bit too. Love your drawing masterpieces, and hope you enjoy the beach!
I am totally with you. I can go camping and backpacking up a tall mountain but water makes me antsy sometimes. Probably because I feel like the worst way to die is to drown. Soo, SCUBA diving or snorkeling do not appeal to me as much either. I’ll take the air anyday.
I went scuba diving with my family in Cozumel. We had our own instructor who taught us to dive and went down with each group. He was great and I sorta enjoyed it after initially freaking out. Breathing underwater was too weird and there’s just too much stuff to remember (checking gauges, breathing evenly, making sure water isn’t getting in to my goggles). I was the worse one in the group. I definitely was not a natural. I think our instructor felt sorry for me and he definitely was surprised to find out I was the brains of the group.
I’m only interested in sitting on a beach chair at the beach. It’s too hot for things like this.
Oh WOE to you and your beach vacation. And I kid, but only sort of. I’ve never been SCUBAing, but I would, probably. I’m not the world’s best swimmer, but I like being a voyeur, and that’s kind of what it seems like to me: an underwater Peeping Tom show.
I have no desire to go scuba diving. And will plop down next to you on the sand. There’s too much to learn/remember/deal with for me to care enough to go. Yep…
I am 100% with you on every aspect of this post. And with that, I’m going to have Under the Sea in my head for the rest of the day.
you just described my week. drunk. lounge chair. swim up bar. mmmhmmm. no dragging around 40 tons of air for me!
I’ve really tried to be a scuba diver, but I just don’t think I am cut out for it. I practically grew up in the water & love the ocean. We were wade fishing this past weekend, but the idea of being in the water with the jelly fish and stingrays without the heavy winter layer of neoprene waders made me a bit nervous. I do love snorkeling though- so fun & I feel so free swimming around. Most interesting things (dangerous fish) tend to swim right away & they are so accustomed to being around people in the areas we go, they will leave everybody alone.
I’m the exact same way, LOVE this post.
I am so with you on this one.
Last time I was at the A.I. of Paradise, I watched as a few people were getting certified in the kiddie pool. I decided then I was not interested in wasting an entire day doing that when I could have been drinking beers 🙂
Have a great vacation!
haha, I totally agree. Open water is scary. Beach chairs are not. Done and done. 🙂
I love your posts so much I want to marry them.
Especially the nightmare fish singing Under The Sea :).
This post is hilarious, and I love your illustrations 🙂 I am SCUBA certified, but only because I was totally terrified of the idea, and I hate being afraid of anything. I’ve done a few dives, and I’m just never psyched to go out and do another one; it’s cool, but also frightening and definitely not relaxing. Give me a lounge chair and a mojito any day 🙂
Seriously, it’s as if I could have written the post because I feel the exact. same. way. And my snorkel masks always leak, too. I’m convinced that my face is just the wrong shape for them. Have fun relaxing and drinking umbrella drinks!
I haven’t been snorkeling, but everyone here likes to go “float the river” in big inner tubes and drink. Sounds fun, but it takes 6 freaking hours and last time I went I got really hurt on some rocks. But everyone excitedly asks me if I want to go and I totally kill their joy and look at them like they’re crazy.
Hi, new to your blog… omg I love it. Love your drawings and the reality that is scuba diving/snorkeling. Totally true!