Friday, 20 July 2007

Diving Diva

Today I have been out diving by Sandy Island, just a short distance from Sandy Ground, Anguilla. Here there is series of reef ledges covered with corals and a multitude of marine life. I was lucky to see a very pretty Chain Moray, a stunning Initial Phase Redband Parrotfish - vivid dark green with red fins and tail and a beautiful Honeycomb Cowfish. None of these are anything unusual in these waters, but I was pleased to see them all out and about when I swam by.

It was a day of firsts. I have invested in a new wetsuit and so wanted to try it out. I am between sizes and the English pear shaped figure is not catered for when it comes to making a wetsuit. After a lot of searching, I finally found one I could squeeze into in Cornwall, in the West of England. 'Squeeze' is the operative word. When it and I are dry it is murder to wriggle into.

I also have a new BCD. This is a Buoyancy Control Device, looks like a sleeveless jacket and is designed to both hold an air cylinder and provide buoyancy when a diver is in the water. I looked at several and chose one designed for the curves of a woman's body. I had been using a unisex one and it was most uncomfortable! It just did not fit and was elderly too, so I splashed out and now have an Aqualung Diva, which sounds as good as it looks and feels. In my new wetsuit and new BCD I am a Diving Diva indeed.

Another first today was the use of a friend's underwater camera kit, complete with strobe lighting and various filters. My son, Thomas, has been trying to buy me a housing for my digital camera since January without success, so I have been looking for a camera outfit specifically designed for use underwater. My friend, Steve, has just updated his model and has offered me his not-very-old ReefMaster digital camera. I took it out for a test shoot today and one of the pictures I took is illustrating this article. Not too bad for a photographer unused to the camera and struggling to get used to the new Diving Diva Outfit!

In all, I am pleased with how today went. The suit is fine, the BCD is worth every penny of the fortune it cost and I am pleased with the camera. I just need to practice with it...

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