Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Inventory of Broken-ness

Posted from Cozumel, Mexico at 8:59 pm, June 17th, 2011

On yesterday’s trip into town I picked up a bottle of nasal spray to ensure that any congestion I had would be gone by the time we were diving today. Having never used the stuff before, something that would have been good to know in advance is that it would turn my nose into Niagara Falls. I arrived at the dive shop this morning, Kleenex in hand, and had no less than three people recoil in horror at the prospect of me going underwater. Luckily the sinuses were clear, and, while the mask needed frequent clearing during the dive due to what could charitably be described as an excess of goo, I didn’t have any problems at all with pressure equalization.

We dove again today with a couple from Missouri that we met on Wednesday and the same divemaster we dove with previously. Similar to Wednesday we did our first dive along a huge coral wall with numerous swims through coral caves, and a variety of fish to keep us company including a big grouper who swam up to most of the divers to give us each a closer look. The second dive was Audrey’s and my first ever dive on a shipwreck. The Mexican Navy had intentionally sunk a WWII-era minesweeper in 1999 in about eighty feet of water, and swimming through it was like something out of the Poseidon Adventure with perspectives twisted by the effect of being underwater, tight passages, air from the regulators seeping out through unseen crevices in the ship’s structure, random fish and coral throughout, and a tour of the ship’s latrine where a photo was taken by one of the Missouri folks that I’m hoping will never see the light of day. At times we were winding our ways along narrow, enclosed passageways with sharp metal all around us, including one piece that slightly caught Audrey on the leg and made her the designated shark bait for the dive. Other highlights of this dive included a school of tuna that passed by, several starfish, a few jellyfish, and the normal complement of amazingly-colored reef fish.

Following the morning’s diving and a mid-afternoon nap I again attempted a sunset run and again came home completely beat up after only a very short time. While the heat and humidity is an obvious culprit, Audrey and I started doing a rundown of my broken-ness on this trip and came up with an impressive tally: one day of barfing, one mangled toe, a wicked sore throat, a lingering head cold and a pretty beat up set of legs. Somehow I’m the only person in the world who can come to a beach paradise in Mexico and contract more ailments in ten days than I would in a year within the smoggy confines of LA – clearly this body was built for the extremes of Antartica or Alaska, and a tropical paradise throws the systems into utter disarray.

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