The Bubble Watcher at Alexander Springs, Florida
by James A. Coss
(Daytona Beach, FL)
My friend is going scuba diving down in Fort Lauderdale in about 2 weeks. That is all she thinks about. She is a certified scuba diver. It feels like I am too from all the scuba diving conversations that we have had together.
One day, she decided to go to Alexander Springs and invited me along as a buddy. No problem. I can be a good buddy (the “bubble watcher” as she calls it).
We got started early in the morning and headed for Alexander Springs which is a 45 minute drive from Daytona Beach. It was a beautiful morning. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky (which was very unusual for Florida weather in the month of August).
We finally arrived at our destination with a cooler full of soda and a full tank of air. I remember that because the tank and all of her
equipment was very heavy. But, I managed to put all the equipment on this contraption with wheels and brought all of it down to the springs along with my very own snorkel and mask. Lucky guy. Ha. I guess that’s what a Bubble Watcher does.
I just took in the beauty of the springs, pondering how clear the water was on that particular day . I helped my buddy get into her wet suit, put her tank and bcd on.
Then, it was time to do it, I jumped right in the warmth of the water, immediately swam like a fish.
She reminded me of the mask and snorkel that was attached to me. She taught me to spit in my mask to defog it and away we went. Or should I say away she went down to the bottom of the Spring. I watched from above and became a good bubble watcher.
For about 3 hours I was in my own world floating, sometimes diving just taking it all in. My friend came up to the surface and asked if I was tired. We were both tired.
We decided to break up our adventure and go walking in the paths that the same Indians lived and hunted 1000 years prior. I was looking for alligators. She was admiring the beauty of the trees and bugs that were migrating from the earth, I’ve even put this huge millipede on my face as a dare. Then, after about an hour of site seeing, (I never saw an alligator), we decided to gear back up and go back in for the later part of the day.
As I was bubble watching, my first thought is how weightless she looks swimming down on the bottom of that spring. She could have been on the moon by the looks of it. My second thought was how
would it feel just to be free under the water, having your air tank fed to your lungs.
A recurring dream came to mind that I was breathing under the water without dying. Right then and there, I’ve decided to become what my friend is. She is a certified scuba diver.
I’m going from Bubble Watcher to Certified Scuba diver.
I do admit that becoming a certified scuba diver is harder than it looks. Right now I’m just getting used to breathing under the water in a pool, but hey, you have to start somewhere. Next week I’m going back to Alexander springs to do my open water check outs. Then I can really write about my experiences as a certified scuba diver and the freedom of the underwater
Now that’s what recurring dreams are all about, right?
Interesting story. I do hope, though, that you are taking some poetic license here - especially about your friend diving alone. Glad you are getting your certification so you can join her down there. Let us know how it goes.