Monday, March 2, 2015

Why I Like SCUBA Diving

I don't do water activities.

I'll dangle my feet over the edge of the shallow end of a hotel swimming pool while sipping something with a little cocktail umbrella poking out. Preferably a beer.

But that is as far as I go.

My partner, Dwight, does do water activities, including SCUBA. I'll never do that, at least not in this lifetime.

Apart from my distaste for submerging myself in water, I like to travel light: one 14lb backpack is my usual limit. Meanwhile Dwight is lugging 35lbs of SCUBA gear.

Big pack: SCUBA gear. Small pack: all I have for two months of travel.

SCUBA has its benefits. First, it gets us to lovely places.

Arikok National Park, Aruba.
Currently we're in Aruba, and later we'll be in Key Largo, Florida. These are places where Dwight can happily sink to the fishes, and we can both enjoy fine weather, hikes, and relaxed times, together.

It gives me quiet time: slow breakfast, a book, a random walkabout. I can enjoy a giant pastry for my second breakfast without having to cut it in half to share.

Then there's material benefits, like a GoPro and a handheld immersion blender.

To be fair, he initially bought the GoPro so he could stick it in the pool at a Minneapolis Y to figure out why he has a surplus wiggle in each stroke. It's cheaper than paying a trainer to say you're wiggling.

I want to suggest "Honey, maybe you were born that way" but have decided that would not be constructive. Besides I get to use the GoPro with my Lego.

Ah yes, the immersion blender. I first became aware of this wonderful contraption when we were on a liveaboard over Australia's Great Barrier Reef. I noticed a crew member using one in the galley. As soon as I got home, Amazon magically delivered one, and I have not bought a can of soup since. We both love soup.

Most importantly, SCUBA is an interest that Dwight can own. I sense it's important for us to develop our own hobbies, particularly once we're both retired. At home, he's downstairs playing with architectural Lego, and I'm upstairs playing with my Lego Technics. One day I'll send a robot spider to attack one of his architectural masterpieces.

Our concept of developing our own interests is not what I've observed with some couples on vacation. He, well-trained, holds the bag with the logo outside the store while (s)he, inside, goes ape over doodads from Asian sweatshops. (S)he emerges holding a large, plaster tiki god: "Mary will just love this, it will go so well with her Stickley."

Shared + separate activities mean good chats at the end of the day. Over sunset Happy Hour, today, I'm expecting stories and photos about underwater adventures. I'll admit to writing this post.

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