I will never, ever go scuba diving. 

I’ve never been a fan of snorkeling. Not only do I worry about sharks and eels, but I don’t like the odd feeling of breathing through a small tube (I always feel like I am going to suffocate).  And that was even true before I came down with lung disease…  Now I am reading Michael Crichton’s Travels where they go diving, and twice he has nearly died because of oxygen-related issues deep down.  I can’t think of a worse way to die then drowning because of being stuck/trapped underwater (I am sure there are, but I don’t want to think too hard), so really can’t imagine a single scenario where I will willingly remove myself from land and put myself 10s of feet deep in water with only a small oxygen tank to keep me from a miserable death.  

I’ve always said I’d never join the navy.  I’d hate being bunked on the bottom of a boat (below the surface) when suddenly I hear an explosion somewhere, everything goes black and then I feel cold water on my feet.  That is far worse than any horror movie ever made.  I’d far rather get blown to bits, or shot or stabbed or even blown out of the sky, which all seem much more pleasant than going down (alive!) with a ship.  I also don’t like going in tunnels that go underwater, although sometimes it isn’t reasonable to avoid (I am going to try to avoid the 99 tunnel in Seattle when it opens, since it goes through landfill in an earthquake zone!!!).  I don’t think there is reincarnation, but if there is I must have drowned in a previous life, because I just don’t want to be underwater.  🙂  Now, the good news is, if that did happen, the misery wouldn’t last all that long — a minute or two and it would be over.  Still, I’d rather avoid that minute or two.

100s of millions of years ago, my ancestors crawled out of the oceans, presumably to avoid sharks and to have less competition for food.  And I have no desire to try to swim back against the current of that kind of evolution by immersing myself deep under water.  There is a reason that we crawled out of the oceans!

I will never, ever go scuba diving. 

Continuing to read “Travels” by Michael Crichton – he visited Malaysia and Venezuela

In Travels, Michael Crichton describes a few more trips he took…

Bonaire is an island off the coast of Venezuela where he went diving.  In a night dive, he lost his air hose and his sister had to help him find it, barely finding it in time when he was 60′ under water.  This scared him, since he could have died.  But a week later they went diving very deep (200′) down over a few days to a shipwreck.  At this depth, you can get the bends, and he pushed his luck and his tank was out of oxygen by the time he surfaced. He was nervous he’d get the bends but did not.  He wondered later why he’d dangerously pushed his luck and realized he was unhappy; he began keeping a daily journal about how he was feeling and realized that every day his thoughts were negative. He realizes that the only way to measure how a person is doing is to keep a daily log then go back and review that log for trends.

He travels to the jungles of Malaysia, hoping to see tigers and other wildlife.  He hears a tale about — and later meets – little jungle men who never get lost in the dense jungles (even Crichton’s guide is not this good) who were until the past century hunted for sport by Malaysian rulers (wtf???). He hears the story of a deer that adopts the village, but kicks the village’s goats to death, so the village no longer keeps goats.  He ralizes that these people have learned to adapt, that when life changes it is out of their control so they adapt with it, and he himself has not had that ability, that he needs to learn to stop trying to control what he can’t control (lung disease did this for me 🙂 ).

      

Continuing to read “Travels” by Michael Crichton – he visited Malaysia and Venezuela