Feb 062012

The champagne year includes the directive to not only to drink a lot of different champagnes (and write about them), but also to do/experience/learn 12 different things that I have never tried before.  It is certainly going to make for an interesting, exciting and challenging year.  Stay tuned for my progress…

[Please note that this was written a month ago, but I wanted to pull pictures before I posted…the pictures are pretty funny.]

We are in gorgeous Saint Thomas.  This morning we went to Sea Cove Island and did what is called a Sea Trek.

I had not intended to conquer something new here, but considering how far removed I was from my comfort zone, this morning’s adventure certainly counts.

I knew signing on for the Sea Trek that this would not be my type of thing.  It is however the Germ’s type of thing.  I could easily break out into a show tune right now.  What I did for love from A Chorus Line would be perfect non?

The group gathers.  There is a lengthy safety session.  Then we are each given Sea Trek helmets–the key to this experience.  They look like an astronaut’s helmet and are white with a glass front.  The helmet  sits on your shoulders and weighs approximately 75 lbs, which, once underwater  feels less than a book bag or Valentino hand bag for that matter.  Tubes are attached to the back of the helmet and compressed oxygen is pumped through allowing you to breathe normally while under water.  Our very own version of 20 thousand leagues under the sea…

Once geared up, everyone takes their turn and backs their way down a ladder, deep into the open water.  I am consumed with anxiety.  I have visions of the damn helmet filling up with water and me drowning.  Au revoir Kitty!

The Germ is not fearful in the least.  As a certified open water diver, this underwater encounter is child’s play to him.  For me, it is a testament of my love.

I am part way down the ladder.  My chest is submerged and I am about to go fully under–then I freeze.  I obviously do the thing any sane person would do–I climb back up the ladder.  Eff this. I am ready to call it a day and then remember that this is the champagne year damn it.   So, I go back down the ladder, hyperventilating and convinced my helmet isn’t going to work, but suddenly there I am–underwater, breathing normally, walking along the sea bed, almost 30 feet below in what can only be described as a fish tank.

The fish were swimming all around us.  I enjoy a fish on my dinner plate, but am definitely not quite so content being in the middle of an entire school. I hate the thought of being swarmed by fish.  Everyone else seems to love it.  Look at my face in this picture as I see them coming.

The guides then “enhance” our experience by finding random sea creatures for us to hold.   This part I did not sign on for and have absolutely no desire to participate.   They find a big sea spider and start passing it around.  No thank you.  My facial expression here hides nothing.

Then they find this critter that has five eyes and looks sort of like a starfish.  I convince myself that I at least need to try and handle this one which is less scary looking but I really do it because I don’t want to look like a total wimpy looser.

In the end, I am feeling quite proud of myself.

After 30 minutes under, up we go.  In the end, I did enjoy my walk through the fish tank, but am convinced it is highly unlikely that I will will ever be successfully converted into an underwater person.  Give me a sail boat any day.

One down, eleven more to go!

 Posted by on February 6, 2012