What is it with kids ... ?
Contributed by Ric Mingramm
I have now been scuba diving for over 25 years and have a pretty good training record:
- 1980 Open Water Diver
- 1990 Advanced Open Water Diver
- 2004 Rescue Diver
by this plan I should be an Instructor just under my 90th birthday.
I now have 2 sons 18 & 15 and do most of my diving with them and their friends. They have put that much pressure on me about my gear that I have had to buy (all matching and colour coded) knife (the size of a paring knife - my full length navy issue commando knife is over the top!), torch, BCD (they used to be BC when I started out - and if you had one you were a girl or a show off!), regulator (with an occy !!! even Lloyd Bridges didn't have one of these), SPG (what, one in bar and metres - what's wrong with PSI and feet), compass, dve computer (a what?), mask, SMB (some bloody orange thing you float to the surface just in case your Dive Master or boat driver is asleep and doesn't know where you are), a safety sausage (how this is different to an SMB I'm not sure), wet suit (gee ... Dad you need a semi dry!), snorkel (this one has a valve in it), reel (that you can't even catch fish with).
So ... now equipped and looking like Inspector Gadget I have the indignity of diving with the kids and following their fins as they dart around like Nemo in an anemone. The greatest indignity happened last week when I was diving with my son Fletcher and his pal Tim Smith (the human dim sim). We dived at Portsea Hole:
Portsea Hole - Depth 14-33m (45-110ft) is one of Victoria's premier dive sites.
The Portsea Hole is about 500m from the Portsea Pier and is a remnant of the old Yarra River. The top of the hole is 14m and to the north there is a vertical wall approximately 75m (250ft) long which drops to sand at 27m (90ft), then into a sand bowl which bottoms at 33m (110ft). The wall comprises small overhangs which are home to a vast array of invertebrate life and fish, in particular the beautiful Blue devil fish. On the top of the hole there are several rock bommies which host hundreds of fish of many species.
We entered the water at slack tide and descended with Tim as my buddy - because of the popularity of the site there are always other divers around. We entered the water with 3 other divers who obviously were diving deeper than us and they had Nitrox and some twin tanks - must have been going to dig a hole or something ...
As I finned over a bommie I saw the twin clad aquanaut approaching his eyes wide open and a grin on his face I smiled gave a cursory nod and wondered what the hell was so amusing. I turned to check Tim he gave me the OK and smiled. We dived for another 20 minutes or so and I was chewing air and getting a wee tired so suggested we surface.
Whilst floating waiting for our boat to arrive the other group surfaced and said "Mate that was the funniest thing I've seen in years!" What ... I said? The way that other diver was riding on your tank!
What? ... the indignity of it all, young Tim had thought it funny to ride on me as if I was some aquatic pony - oh, the shame, the indignity of it all.