nycmermaid: (scubagirl)
[personal profile] nycmermaid
(c/o Monterey Bay Aquarium)

The gray whales are migrating south past Monterey now, and the humpback whales are wintering in the Hawaiian islands, where I'm going in 2 weeks! I've wanted to go to Hawaii to see the whales ever since I got involved with the Sierra Club because they run service trips every February to see them. I hope to go on a whale watch while I'm there, or, even cooler, somehow encounter them while diving. I'm not holding my breath for the latter (ha ha) but even hearing a whale while I'm underwater would be too amazing for words. I still don't know if I'm going to do my advanced open water there or not...I change my mind every other day! I'll decide one way or the other by tomorrow, I don't want to put it off anymore.

I've been pretty obsessed with scuba diving lately. Last week I went to one scuba meetup (NY Sea Gypsies), where I met some divers who got me started on Scuba Board, and this week I went to a different scuba meetup, Oceanblue Divers. Oceanblue seemed to have more young people, but people were very friendly at both events. I even ran into my friend Andrea from the zoo at the one this week, as well as a guy Marsha and I hung out with this summer.

Last week I posted to SB looking for information about the NY Aquarium volunteer dive team. Not too many people knew much about it. Well, a guy who was at Sea Gypsies last week remembered me, saw my post, and then came up to me at Oceanblue and introduced me to a guy who is on the team. This guy, Avra, has been diving at the aquarium for 6 years and loves it. In fact, it seems everyone on the dive team loves it. He said it's a great way to get involved at the aquarium, practice diving, learn about marine environment issues, and meet other people passionate about marine life. They do expect you to have your own equipment, but apparently they do have extra things they can lend you until you get all your own stuff (scuba equipment is not cheap!). According to Avra, they ask you to commit 2 weekend days a month, just like at the Central Park Zoo.

Now, there are many things in the way of me just joining this dive team. One is the commute (over an hour each way by public transit); one is the cost of gear; and one is the time commitment. I'm already committed to volunteering at the zoo for another year since I got this animal handling gig. But the more I learn about the aquarium dive team, the more it feels like something I need to get involved with. Definitely something to consider for next year if not this one!

Date: 2010-01-22 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am really happy for you that you are getting involved in scuba meetups!! It is so very appropriate for you!

Here's a little suggestion for your future plans - conquer driving, buy scuba gear, rent a zip car and take yourself to the NY Aquarium whenever the heck you want...

Date: 2010-01-22 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes I fear of driving is a big obvious issue here! The idea of driving from my house to Brooklyn is scary, but I know it shouldn't be. It's not a very big deal of a ride either.

Date: 2010-01-22 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You had a fear of scuba diving and your ability to do it that you got over and now look at you! Scuba diving all over the place! It wouldn't be an immediate thing, and you shouldn't pressure yourself. Truthfully, the idea of scuba diving scares the shit out of me, and while I've never driven to Brooklyn alone and it might make me nervous the first time or so, and weren't you pretty nervous on your first dives?

Date: 2010-01-22 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wouldn't say I was scared of scuba diving really, I just thought I was physically unable to do it because of my sinus issues. With driving, it's a phobia, pure and simple. And the concern is that I won't overcome the phobia until I do it all the time, which I can't do in my daily life at the moment. Maybe I need to just start driving again, just do it any way I can. Get my dad to take me driving, let me drive next time he takes me back to my place, something like that.

Date: 2010-01-22 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you should go to a driving school, because most of them have instructors who are trained to deal with nervous drivers, and their cars have the extra emergency brake. I know how laid back your dad is, but perhaps it might be too much pressure on you to drive with him. Go to a driving school, start at the beginning, drive around a parking lot with a calm instructor who can put the brake on if necessary.

Date: 2010-01-26 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very cool that you're getting involved in things that real matter to you :-)


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