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Diving This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     There’s nothing like early mornings and unnecessarily heavy equipment. At dawn, we arrive at the ocean, fueled only by hot coffee and the anticipation of what is to come. We lug our gear down to the beach, hoping it won’t wash away while our backs are turned.

Masks, fins, snorkels first, then the tank - aluminum, but weighed down with precious air. Then the Buoyancy Converter (BC), with 25 pounds of integrated weights (the price I pay for being so light). Wetsuits on, gauges on our tanks, tanks on BCs, BCs on our backs, and then I wade in, feeling like the one-ton man. Dive flag secured, we warn boaters and fishermen that we lurk below. Then, at long last, we submerge ourselves in the cooling water and begin our expedition.

In the soft morning light distorted by the rippling sea, we see another world below. Soft, flexible algae drift to and fro, tugged constantly by the gentle current. Moving through the water, we kick up clouds of sand, uncovering shy creatures. They shoot out, darting left and right not in fear, but in the sheer joy of being alive. They, in turn, alert comrades, and more fish, mollusks, crabs, and lobsters stir and delight us with their presence.

For 45 minutes, we plow forward and downward, discovering new wonders as we go. Then my gauges blink; a pulsing light that I only catch out of the corner of my eye. Halfway down on air ... we should turn back. What we’ve seen, we won’t soon forget - the life we’ve witnessed, and the depths we’ve tread. Next time, we’ll journey deeper and further. Who knows what will stop us in our quest for the discovery and exploration of the world within our own.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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