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Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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On snorkling and such things

shaska gave me my first snorkling lesson yesterday. For those I haven't told as of yet. We will be going on vacation in Cancun, Mexico later this month. I am actually excited about this!

Originally, I had this vast, rediculous mexiphobia. To me Mexico was:

  • Like a speedy gonzalez cartoon
  • the food and water was toxic
  • stepping over the border I'd be immediately rendered unconcious
  • upon awaking I'd be either in Jail or home with my new wife consuela
  • her name would be tattooed on my arm
  • She would be 6 months pregnant with my child
  • my wallet would have been lost at the bullfights, I didn't even attend.

About a year and a half ago, I ventured into Tijuana when schnookiemuffin came to visit me. While, TJ is not necessarily representative of all of Mexico. It can be considered one of the more capitallistically pushy areas. We didn't stay very long, but it did allay my overly irrational fears and viciously foolish stereotyping. this is what being brought up in the NorthEast US does to you.

Hmmmn, I wonder what San Diegans think of Canada.

So, I'm excited to go. the trip was mildly spontaneous. But, put two Sun-Saturn conjunct Aries together and anything can happen.

shaska has gone snorkelling (what appears to me) several times. She also has some really nice equipment. (To sk4p, lrstrobel, and the rest of the gutter minded back in the 'burgh...No, no...No, no no no. that's not what I meant) She let me use her mask, snorkel, and fins. I'm a fairly mediocre swimmer on my own, but for some reason, put a mask over my eyes and nose, and I become a fish. While I'm still getting used to the snorkel part, I enjoy going under for extended periods of time.

As for the fins... It looks so easy until you try it. The pool at the apartment was a perfect place to start this process. Using fins is like regressing to some long-forgotten animal instinct. Unfortunately, all the while, your brain is analyzing the process and trying to help you evolve out of this desire to move like a fish and use your legs and knees.

The energy I expended in the first 15 minutes trying to walk underwater in fins almost killed me. My knees (problematic for about 6 years now) hurt on every kick. Granted, guru shaska pointed out that I shouldn't need to use my knees and all motion should come from a locked knee effort of riding the motion in my hips. To abuse Shakespeare, "Oh, that I were a woman"

This was further complicated by the buoyancy of the fins trying to drag my feet to the surface leaving me head under with my feet kicking purposelessly on the surface. this complicated the whole snorkel bit. I found myself continually aiming for the wall.

Note: When snorkeling for real...there are no walls or floor of the water container to stand on.

After about an hour I began to be able to feel the idea of how it was supposed to work and could slightly propel myself. The direction i was able to start to get a grip on was 'up' as by that time i was exhausted and hanging onto the metal stair handle in the fingerquotes"deep" part of our 6' pool.

I have about 2 weeks to try to get more proficient with fins.

More on this as it develops

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Did you do this with or without a life jacket?
When I snorkel, I use a life jacket that can be inflated or deflated (for some more underwater tieme). It made it much easier at the start to just practice breathing while looking down. The kicking is good to propel you, but it can get distracting if you're trying to kick just to keep at the surface.

"Oh, that I were a woman"

I've always been a fish (then again I'm a pisces..) But I love the water. I had never been snorkeling anywhere and then we went to Cancun Mexico and took a day to go snorkeling. They went through a quick overview and in a matter of minutes I had it figured out. I watched the guys who had never snorkeled before and they were "floudering" (yes.. I'm being punny.) They couldn't get it. I was in the water and moving wherever I wanted to. IN fact there was this really neat reef that had a hole through it that you had to swim down under water to get through. Most of the guys couldn't do it but I did. You'll get it hun. It just takes time. Women get the "hip" thing easier because women are "built like that."

Hang in there.. and enjoy yourself. Cancun is a beautiful. The water is SO blue.

I learned to snorkel as a child in my pool at home, and although at the time it seemed natural I guess it isn't for everyone. I know one way I learned was to start just floating on my stomach, and get used to being horizontal in the water like that. Then I learned how to not suck water into my snorkel - gah I hated that. Last I moved my legs and tried to learn what those fins actually did. And I had really cruddy fins, compared to the new spiffy stuff they sell now.

The main thing I remember from using fins was to get used to having legs that were 6" longer and keep that in mind as I stroked with my legs. That seemed to be the trick for me.

Having grown up in Mexico...I can tell you that TJ is the most horrendous place I have ever seen and refuse to go there....if you are going to Cancun tho bro....tho commercial...oh my....it's pure fucking paradise.

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