Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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02/07/2006: "Neutral Buoyancy"

Awhile ago I went out for dinner with friends and we talked about the good things we had in our lives here in Juneau, and the things we missed from other places we've lived. That's had me thinking about a lot of things I used to enjoy and I realized that I *really* miss scuba diving.

dry_suit (46k image)

That photo was from...geesh, over 10 years ago...diving in Alaska is not the same as diving in Hawaii, you need to wear a dry suit cuz the water is FREEZING which makes mobility restricted. I had a whole slew of mishaps when I did my certification dives in Whittier Alaska, which I don't want to get into...but despite 3 days of HELL I still knew that for me there is nothing as spectacular as neutral buoyancy; just floating...looking up at the sun shining through the water, watching the color spectrum fade away the lower you swim with everything so quiet except for the sound of your own breathing.

I found a place here in Juneau called the Channel Dive Center. If you click on their side-bar, you can see all kinds of cool photographs, various lessons they offer etc. There's also info about the Auke Rec Reef and Dive Park, which I find exciting because when I first moved to Juneau there wasn't much to see or dive around (plus it's only five minutes from where I work). Now they even have a group called the GODIVAS: "a thriving group of lady divers, hosting fun dive events and working as volunteers for the Alaska Artificial Reef Society, What does it take to be a GODIVA? A love for diving!!"

Yeah, I have a love for diving! I had no idea that Juneau had such an active diving community. When I was in art school I was originally a sculpting major, and I still have some cool underwater sculptures I did for an underwater dive park that never got past the plans stage...(doing large-scale sculpture takes major resources). Anyway, I really feel incredibly excited right now...ok, those of you who know me know that I go off on crazy tangents from time to time but this is something that I've always been excited and interested in...funny how we can just forget about things we used to feel passionately about!

Replies: 4 Comments

on Wednesday, February 8th, Kasia said

I alawya wnated to dive! This winter I wanted to go to Egypt to take some lessons, but coudn't go. it's still before me. But the underwater world is absolutely my thing. It's like exploring another space and at the same time it's all about exploring your mind - it's quiet, you have to befocused and you look, you think, you look, you think. No noise. no nonsense. :)

on Wednesday, February 8th, Elise said

That's it exactly Kasia...going to Egypt has always been a dream of mine but that dream is a lot further off than learning to dive again.

I'm thinking that I'll start by taking some refresher classes while I'm in Hawaii, actually do some warm water diving. Then, get psychologically prepared to cold water dive again when I get back to Juneau.

Anyway, dive suits are really unflattering, so this gives me extra encouragement to try and get into better shape!

When do you think you'll be able to dive?

on Wednesday, February 8th, Kasia said

I hope in summer - it's totally impossble in winter. Egypt would be great, because it's beautiful and cheap. I hope to dive in egypt next winter;)

on Wednesday, February 8th, Elise said

Well, I'm envious! I hope when you go you take lots of photos...