The Underwater Jetpack

In 1989, one Robert Zemeckis led many of us to believe that by the year 2015 Mattel would give the world hover-boards.  Even though there is still time left to make good on that, it hasn’t happened yet.  Neither has flying cars or jet-packs.  Well, it turns out I might have been wrong about the jet-pack, a valuable lesson I recently learned.

Previously, I chronicled the origins of the AuqaQuest, a journey I’m intent on taking into the world of SCUBA diving certification.  I’m happy to say that I’ve taken that first step into a larger world and did more than survived; somewhere between survived and excelled; I know enough to say the instructor was impressed, but  I haven’t quite processed it all yet.

As much as I talked about fear when I previously wrote about this adventure I was intent on, it didn’t manifest too often (mainly in moment or two of panic involving mask-clearing).  Ironic that I’ve no problem with regulator clearing but masks, yeah, struggle; it’s always the seemingly simpler thing.

I’ve heard the word “magical” used to describe that first breath underwater.  I don’t know if that’s what I would say; it actually felt rather natural.  My first thought, honestly, was simply “So this is what Vader feels like” (recalling to mind how Ben Burtt actually created that sound we know so well, with the same device I was using).

The gear was actually really easy to handle, and I became very familiar with my Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), or as I have come to call it, “the underwater jet-pack”.  Flashes of a young Cliff Seacord filled my mind as I experienced a miniscule version of his elated sensation in the deep blue sky as the vest filled with air and assisted my assent to the pool surface; I was pretty confident I wouldn’t rocket off like Boba Fett.

The greatest challenge was movement.  The idea of moving though the water without my arms is both anathema and foreign to me, I wasn’t going anywhere.  Fortunately my instructor dives with a friend who has  greater mobility limitations than I do, so doesn’t mind my bending of the rules.  Even with my upper body it was still slow going, but I was at least getting somewhere. (and my arms got a decent workout for it)  Nevertheless, it’s still weird chilling like villains at the bottom of a pool in a makeshift lair like it’s no big deal; is this what Black Manta, Ocean Master, and Namor do for fun?  There’s probably a Robot Chicken about it.

In the end, a worthwhile experience with a wonderful, patient, and understanding teacher; Grace was sufficient and Peace was present.  Now to figure out the next phase, the next steps into this underwater world that a deep seas vessel called SeaQuest beckoned me to enter more than 20 years ago.

Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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