Posted: August 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

When the United States had an active space program we would occasionally see images of astronauts floating in space as they walked in outer space or performed tasks inside their space vehicle. The thought of effortlessly floating in a weightless environment was tantalizing. Most think that the opportunity to do this is outside the reach of the normal person. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s move from outer space to inner space. Then let’s exchange the environment from being totally void of air to an environment that is surrounded by water. Now let’s remove a totally enclosed suit that is bulky and requires care and patience to put on and exchange that for a pair of shorts and shirt. We have now moved from the weightlessness of outer space to the weightlessness of the underwater world and we have exchanged the title of astronaut for aquanaut.
In 1943 two Frenchmen completed the design of a system that allowed man to breath effortlessly underwater and freed the diver from the requirement to pump air to the divers working underwater. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnon had invented SCUBA. The term means Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Cousteau eventually moved to capitalistic America where he was free to form his company, U.S Divers and coined the term Aqua Lung.
In 1955 Cousteau released a movie called “The Silent World”. The movie was a documentary of Cousteau and a team of underwater explorers living and diving from their research vessel, Calypso. This was the catalyst for recreational diving in America. Then to add fuel to the fire, in 1956 Lloyd Bridges starred in a very popular series, Sea Hunt. On Friday nights this was a must watch show on KNOE TV. When I was in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm I became friends with several of the Navy SEALS. I was talking to the Lt Commander that brought the first SEALS into Saudi. One question I had was why he joined the SEALS when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He told me it was because of Sea Hunt.
By the mid-sixties recreational diving was growing more and more popular. Everyone knew of the U.S. Navy Frogmen, the predecessors of the SEALS. In 1966 Ricky Lee and I took diving classes in Monroe. At that time you had to muscle your way through the course. It was far more physical than today. One man in our class was Ebert VanBuren. He was in his 30s and the instructor said he was near the end of his diving ability at that age. These myths that were later exposed plus vastly improved diving equipment greatly expanded the age a diver could remain active. I heard that Van Buren remained active into his 70s.
By the late 70s, new equipment allowed a diver to become weightless at different depths. This freed the diver to mover effortlessly under water much like the astronauts do in outer space. This sense of total freedom coupled with extremely clear water like that encountered in tropical locations such as Cozumel has generated a generation of divers that live for the opportunity to go below the surface.
While the experience of floating effortlessly through coral beds is a wonderful feeling, the interaction with the living creatures is just as exciting. Giant turtles swimming ever-so-gracefully beside you is quit relaxing. Take an empty water bottle, fill it with bread and then pour water into it. Dive in and take the top off the bottle and squeeze it a couple of times to emit the partially dissolved bread into the ocean. Stand by as you are about to be covered with hundreds of fish gobbling up the bread particles and looking for more.
If you desire to become an aquanaut then do so. There’s nothing to stop you but you.

  1. What’s up to every one, the contents present at this site are really remarkable for people knowledge, well,
    keep up tthe nice work fellows.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s