This is one of ST’s and my regular dive spots on out past A’iea – the only city in the U.S. comprised of all vowels. (ai-AY-uh, is the local pronunciation) if the week was long, we were probably in the water at least once on the weekend. I read the surf report every day. (If there was too much surf, then ride the waves instead!)
I noticed in those days the ability for ritual to settle my mind. A lot of rituals come with diving. Part of our ritual included our preparation. I kept all my equipment in the car. ST is an Eagle Scout and loyal friend – always preps right. I couldn’t ask for a better dive buddy. (He will also catch any Office, Thirty Rock, or Parks & Recreation reference, however sly.)
We will talk about the water, wetsuits, and weights as we suit up. The water temperature and entry conditions should be considered, this helps us determine what the best wetsuit combination will be. Shorts and a rash guard do just fine for and calm seas & warm waters. Farmer johns for the colder days. That in turn determines how many pounds in lead weights you wear on your belt. We change in the parking lot. It’s usually empty.
The weights on the belt counteract your positive bouyancy (if you tend to float). If you’re doing it right you should have just enough weights on you too be neutrally bouyant at about 15′ down. The first time you put 11 pounds of weights on yourself and walk into the ocean, you have some second thoughts. Is this wise? Should I be making myself sink in the ocean? Will I be culled by natural selection?
Hmm… probably. Fuck it. Let’s get wet.
We will walk out silently across the hot sand and sit by the part of the sand where the surf laps. We face forward – you never turn your back to the ocean. The entry is extremely easy here. All sand. We agree to meet just past the breakers. We meditate through controlling our breath and observing.