A Brief & Wondrous Alternative to Trump

In general I’m trying to avoid getting too political on this blog, but seeing as I’m adjusting to life in a state that swung for Trump, it’s hard to avoid sometimes. And it’s a key distinguishing difference from my prior life, safely ensconced in the Bay Area’s bubble of liberal elitism. So if you don’t want to hear complaints about Trump, and how he is the literal embodiment of everything I abhor, or how his actions are fast-tracking us down the path to fascism, well then please know that these comments will be few and far between, and largely interspersed with cute critters, beautiful nature, interesting people (from all over the world in fact), and other things less… polarizing.

So with that short statement aside (that wasn’t too bad, was it?) I’ll just say that the day of the inauguration, I couldn’t bear to watch. So instead of working from home where I’d be taunted by news alerts, Facebook notifications and such, I opted to do something akin to sticking my head in the sand. I went scuba-diving.

Our friends J & S, who are avid divers and were excited to come dive the reefs in South Florida, would be visiting in a week and wanted me to join them. Though I had my PADI certification, I’d received it twenty years earlier and hadn’t been on a dive trip in nearly fifteen. So while eager to join and explore this new dimension of Florida, I was nervous too.

I decided to take a refresher course through local dive shop Starfish Scuba, meeting at the Delray Beach public pool to brush up on the necessary equipment and skills.

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It all came back like riding a bike, except when the instructor asked me at one point between skill demonstrations, with a knowing look, like I know you know this, “And what’s the most important, number one rule of diving that we always have to follow?”

My response was a blank stare. And all I could think was, Oh my god, how do I not know the most important, number one rule that we always have to follow?!

Sensing my confusion, she generously supplied the answer… “Don’t hold your breath. That’s the rule. NEVER hold your breath.” Oh yeah, I do remember that.

After the training was complete, she and her assistant were talking about how good the conditions had been that day, and how the next day (Inauguration Day) was expected to be equally good. And though I hadn’t planned to actually dive for real (off the boat) till J & S arrived the following week, I changed my mind in a heartbeat and met the Starfish crew early the next morning at the marina.

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So while Trump was at the lectern delivering an inaugural address that made me long for the days of W (something I never thought I’d say), I was swimming sixty feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic.

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That’s me! I guess our New Year’s Card wasn’t that far off, eh?

Here are a few more photos that I took with Tim’s camera, my first attempt at underwater photography, which really is its own beast, requiring lighting and filters, neither of which I had. So don’t be a hater.

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These photos don’t do justice to the experience. It was incredible, and way better than listening to some dumb guy’s doom and gloom speech about American carnage.

If you want to see some really great photos that give you more of an idea of what I saw, or what I hope to see next time I go, check out Starfish Scuba’s photos. Or better yet, get yourself here… and we’ll go explore the reef together!