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Dive Texas

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:11am

I spent the better part of today at the Athens Scuba Park, about 80 miles from my hotel. I teamed up with a father and son who go there frequently, and into the water we went. The visibility was awful--maybe 10 feet or so--and the dad led us around in circles for a while. He kept cursing his performance. On the second dive, I was in charge, because I had a compass. Alas, my compass skills are a bit rusty, and I started out trusting my sense of direction over my instruments. However, it didn't take long for me to get us headed in the general direction of the sunken airplane we wanted to look at. We swam and swam and swam, but couldn't find the airplane. I intuitively swam in the deepest parts of the lake, and I couldn't help but tell myself, "it's a freaking airplane! How can I not see it?" I surfaced, and the father and son were about 50 yards away, in about 20 feet of water. "I'm standing on the airplane," said the father. Anyhow, it was fun overall. Technically speaking, I even did some wreck diving when I swam through the airplane and an old Dallas city bus. I was surprised that there were no fish there, but evidently the natural chemical composition of the water discourages most forms of aquatic life.

Edited to add: On the way to Athens yesterday, I drove through Seagoville, Texas. At the top of one of the exit ramps is a large sign saying "Welcome to Seagoville: City of Opportunity." Across the field behind the sign is a federal prison. Apparently the local Chamber of Commerce has a cynical sense of humor.

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