January 2018


January 2018


 
we are accidents waiting - 9th January 2018
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testmeat photoblog


24th June 2012

fear is your friend

the single most frightening experience that i've had on my south american journey occurred in colombia. it wasn't a mugging, or a kidnapping, or a riot. no, it was being submerged in the dark, 20 metres below the surface of the earth unable to breathe. i was completing an advanced diving course and one of the components was night diving. now scuba diving at night is exactly the same as scuba diving during the day, except it's pitch black so all you can see is the small area illuminated by the torch in your hand. this means it's nothing like scuba diving during the day. it's really hard to get a sense of where you are and what's around you when you're essentially floating with your eyes closed. this lack of spatial awareness wasn't helped by the fact there was 10 of us in the group, constantly bumping into each other and my nerves weren't calmed by having to replace some faulty equipment seconds before we set off. nor by my oxygen tank which contained considerably less air than everyone else. this last detail proved important. i'm sure you don't need me to remind you that oxygen is really rather important when it comes to breathing, crucial you could say, and i noticed my that my low tank was depleting at a rapid rate. when it approached the point where i needed to think about ascending to the surface i went up to the guide to explain the situation. he made a hand signal which i interpreted as

where's your dive buddy?

the partner you're supposed to stick close to underwater in case any problems arise. i tried to think of a signal which would convey

i've no fucking idea where i am, let alone my buddy, as i can't see a fucking thing down here. besides i'm a little pre-occupied with my soon to be empty oxygen tank saddled with my strong desire to, y'know, breathe.

i settled for a shrug of my shoulders. the guide, as with every diver, had a second regulator which is the piece of equipment which connects the oxygen in your tank to the hole in your mouth. this meant we could both breathe from, and share, the air in his tank. he handed it over, i took a final breath from my regulator, took it out of my mouth, began slowly exhaling, put his spare regulator in my mouth and then began inhaling again. it felt a little uncomfortable, like it might have been upside down, so i decided to take it out, turn it round, and put it back in. i did this using the same method as before, but when i inhaled i didn't feel oxygen go down my throat. i felt water. this was the scariest moment of my trip. this was fucking terrifying. i was 20 metres underwater, in the dark, breathing in water. a 5-10 second period of coughing, spluttering and purging and another 15 seconds of hyperventilating panic breaths followed as i put the regulator back in correctly and tried to regain my composure. the fear stayed with me for the rest of the dive, which was also intercut moments of pure beauty and wonder. and when i finally surfaced and put my feet on solid ground i felt amazing. fear can be uncomfortable, dangerous and debilitating if you let it take control. finding the strength to endure or better yet conquer it, to remember that you have control over your own life - well that makes you feel goddamn awesome.

here's the original
I just added your feed to my favorites. I really enjoy reading your posts.
posted by on 25 Jun 2012 10:09
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are you human?

i've posted 5 photos taken with my gopro hd hero

this is the only picture i've taken with a shutter speed of 1/120 sec

i've posted 3 photos taken with an aperture of f/3.6

i've posted 16 photos taken with a focal length of 5.0 mm - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

this is the only picture i've posted taken on 24th May 2012

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