Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Above and Below

Sunrise on Maui. At the Grand Wailea, they have beach dives right off the hotel. One of the things I love about diving in Hawaii is that waking up at the crack of dawn isn't so difficult thanks to the time change. (For me it's 3 hours behind). I'm happy to get up and go diving first thing in the morning. This is what it looks like above the water and below the water on the same day.

Let's all wish the girls good luck on their exams. I'm finished now, but they still have a few to go!

Hugs and fishes,
Jenny Mo

Monday, May 5, 2008

Diver ESP

Everyone has one - a story about how you just got a little "feeling" that you should or shouldn't do something.  I am a big fan of listening to my intuition.  My story involves Miami, Florida in March 2007.  I flew to Miami, and we were booked to go on a dive - the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove - in the Keys.  I went to dinner at a wonderful seafood restaurant the night before, and it was great - until I started throwing up in the middle of the night.  I didn't get much rest, and I woke up with a bad feeling (besides just throwing up).  I had a really terrible sense of doom, but I wanted to do this dive.  After all, I had traveled all this way and I wasn't going to get another chance during that trip.  
If you've ever been to the Speigel Grove, you know that it's a huge war ship, and portions of it are in over 120 feet of water.  I've done deep dives, but I'm a little more psychologically comfortable at 80 feet max.  However, I had seen magnificent photos of the ship, and I couldn't wait to take my own so I was willing to - ahem - take the plunge.  (Did I just say that?)
Anyway,  I went to the dive shop.  The weather was awful - gray, gloomy, rainy.  But, again, I had traveled so far, and rain doesn't really affect diving once you're under.  Plus, the boat was taking divers.  If the boat goes, why shouldn't I?  Again, terrible sense of doom.  That plus the bad seafood the night before plus the terrible weather made me do something I had never done before - cancel a dive.  The shop was kind enough to refund my money.  I moped around the rest of the day, wondering if I had made the right call.  The next day, I picked up my newspaper outside my hotel room and discovered that three divers died on the Speigel Grove on the dive I was scheduled to do at the time I was scheduled to do it.  They had apparently penetrated the wreck without tying a line, bringing extra air canisters, or having a guide.  One of them made it back, but three of them got lost inside the ship.  They had to send down an extraction team the following day.  It was awful.  I don't know if I would have penetrated the wreck or not because I tend to be a pretty cautious diver.  However, these guys were experienced and certified - probably more experienced than me.  I'm really sorry for those divers and their families.  
The reason I bring it up is because I think it's really critical to listen to your intuition with SCUBA.  It's also critical to respect your buddy's feelings about a dive, too, and to never pressure your buddy.  Do you have any stories of DIVER ESP?
Hugs and Fishes,
Jenny Mo

Sunday, May 4, 2008

SCUBA's Good For You!

The Guardian just ran a story about the health benefits of SCUBA v. Swimming.  You can read the entire story on Guardian's website by clicking the title of this post, but here are some highlights:

Swimming:  Increases appetite.   Swimmers gained an avg. of 5 lbs. when put on a 3 month program for weight loss.  Oops. 

SCUBA:  Swimming with fins is like water-based weight training, firming the thighs!  Weight loss?  Excellent - Someone weighing 70kg burns 13 calories a minute, putting a 45 minute dive at 585 burned calories!!  (For those of us Americans  - 70 kg is 154 pounds).  That is the equivalent of a Carl's Jr. Famous Big Star Hamburger (580 Calories), or 2 Glazed Chocolate Crullers from Dunkin Donuts (560 calories) or 5 Heineken beers (550).  Wow!  

Both are good for lung capacity.  Swimming is better for an upper body workout.  As you all know, we don't really do much with our arms at depth.    
The last time I burned 585 pounds in 45 minutes, I was on a treadmill listening to terrible techno music, sweating like crazy, and thinking there had to be a better way.  Well there is!!

Personally, I eat very healthy and I don't drink - especially before a dive (or even the night before).  No wonder divers look great in a wetsuit!  We're working hard out there!

Hugs and fishes,
Jenny Mo