High among the tree tops I am drifting off to sleep in my thatched-roof bungalow, seemingly afloat in the emerald darkness of the Gulf of Siam. Bare, on top of a white, cotton sheet, my skin generates too much heat - the by-product of over sunning during the course of a dayâ€™s snorkeling and diving. Laying there, eyes closed, I hear the rustle of a warm light breeze in the palm trees, a breeze that continues through the fly screen wall and seems to scrape over my suddenly over-sensitive skin. All my senses are heightened, my skin alert to a thousand sensations. Thereâ€™s something so sultry about summer and something impossibly sexy about the dream-like languor of tropical, humid heat.
It is easy to be swept away in the care-free romance of the lifestyle of an international Dive Master. I have known quite a few in my time who have turned a hobby into a way of life. One such fellow is a Hungarian Marine Biologist whose love for traveling, love for the sea and love for diving conspired to keep him out of a sensible career in a science lab and rendered him capable of nothing more than a gypsyâ€™s existence.
Iâ€™ve heard tales of a contra deal teaching a young Bedouin to dive in Egyptâ€™s Red Sea in exchange for a survival course â€“ several days on a stallion across the desert, cooking Bedouin dishes in the sand on an open fire. Stories of dangerous diving in Israel, stints in the majestic Great Barrier Reef, lucrative cash runs in the Bahamas, dolphins in the Gulf of Thailand and close shaves with Australian sharks.
Young, working divers find that their jobs fund extensive traveling, often being based in beautiful and exotic locales in every corner of the globe. Although the wage is often meager, their accommodation and meals are usually taken care of while they are based in hotel resort locations. Predominantly geographically isolated, divers donâ€™t have anything to spend their money on either. And most importantly, they get to do the thing they love most all day or all night long.
The beaches of Southern California might be a million miles away from the azure waters of the Mediterranean, and not quite the temperature of the tepid Caribbean waters but there is a diving culture here that is alive and well.
Whoever would have thought that Hollywood would cater to such a culture? But www.hollywoodivers.com and www.havensreef.com provide courses, from basic certification for fun, up to instructorâ€™s level through several certification agencies PADI, NAUI and TDI. These schools also offer trips and there are myriad organizations that conduct tours to explore such things as wrecks and great Kelp beds off Catalina Island, to diving with Sea Lions off Santa Barbara Island. So here comes an Angelino summer an thereâ€™s an octopusâ€™ garden to be explored right here in the City of Angels.
But that balmy night in Thailand, high above my perfectly white beach, I could hear the beautiful, romantic music of the very shy Burmese staff who - once in the safety of their staff bungalows at night - opened up like flowers to the sun with dreamy guitar and sweet, sweet voices. I couldn't understand what they were singing, but I'm sure much of it was about love. As I drifted off to sleep, flavored in salt and sand, I dreamed of adventures below the high seas.
Copyright © 2010 V
Slip Into Summer
Copyright © 2010 V
About the WriterWant to write articles too? Sign up & become a writer!
4 comments on Slip Into Summer
Rate This Article
Your vote matters to us