Jun 4, 2014

The Salish Sea: Diving Back Into Home Waters

Redondo Beach Pier at sunset, WA. Copyright www.amandacastleman.com.
Somehow five years slipped by, without me making a splash in Northwest waters. I dabbled in the tropics while on assignment – Samoa, The Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea. Though stunning, they're not home... So I got my gear overhauled and hit Puget Sound with my incredibly patient buddy Valerie Lyttle, an instructor and underwater photographer.

It felt like the first time.

My body protested as I sausaged into a 7/7mm wetsuit, draped myself in weights and waddled into the water. I could only see about five feet, thanks to the tide churning up sand. The cold water triggered an immediate ice-cream headache.

Then I noticed a little perch ogling me around a piling. Val pointed out some red rock crabs and an egg-yolk jellyfish, its golden tentacles pulsing. And, for a moment, I forgot all the anxiety and insecurity and just breathed deep. Yes... this. I love this. How had I forgotten?

Injuries, illness and the distractions of daily life had swept me away from the sea.

But I'm back in the swim, at last.

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