I was a little bit excited. It seemed like such a good idea.
I got my "Basic Diver's Certification" back in 1979. At the time, I bought some of the finest diving equipment available...
Mask, swim fins, snorkel, dive boots, bouyancy compensator, dive knife. My Mom bought me a very expensive breathing regulator. I was new to the sport, but I sure looked the part of an expert. I then proceeded to make two fresh-water lake dives before life got too complicated to continue. My dive bag sat over there in the corner of the closet for over 30 years. From the balcony at Destin, several times I thought, "If I had my dive bag here I could take a look at what is beneath the surface of that beautiful water".
I remembered the bag this trip. I unpacked it and since the bag itself had a considerable layer of dust on it, put it in the washer, then carried the mask, fins, snorkel, and dive boots with me to the beach.
That's what it was.
Did my feet grow? I couldn't get the booties on. By the time I finally DID get them on (15 minutes?) I was winded and worn out.
I caught my breath, walked to the water with mask/snorkel and fins, donned them, and waded in. The first wave hit me and knocked me down, filling my snorkel (and mouth) with salt water. I was still in shallow water so I stood up, cleared my snorkel, and promptly got knocked over by the next wave... same result.
I was out of breath again.
I finally got organized and started swimming away from the beach. Salt water is more bouyant than fresh water and I was bobbing on the surface like a styrofoam cup. It felt weird. I realized I was getting NO USE whatsoever from the fins, so I took them back to the shore and left them.
Back into the water, when I finally began to be able to move in the direction I wanted I'm lookin' at the sand about six feet beneath me...
Bare, white, beautiful sand.
There was a little bit of seaweed in the water itself, but the visibility in the water was still greater than 30 feet. And the only thing I could see within sight distance was a couple brightly colored fish, each about 3 inches long.
Brown, and about the size of a tennis ball... a sponge. A REAL sponge. I grabbed it, made my way to shore, and presented my "treasure" to my wife.
When I got back to the condo I found the washer had destroyed my 30 year-old dive bag.
It was old.
So am I.
The dive bag got thrown in the trash.
But I'll be back.