Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Sense of Touch or Feeling


Yesterdays post got me thinking about my five senses. Over the next five days I am going to explore the events or items that have been the best things my senses have come into contact with. Today I will begin with the most difficult; the feeling of feeling or as some would say touch.

The reason I call it feeling rather than touch is that touch seems like it is on a smaller scale like something on the ends of your finger tips, or a kiss where ever. Many people immediately think of sexual feeling being the best thing possible. For me there was something much more remarkable.

I worked for a place that got their water from their private reservoir in the mountains. I had just become certified in SCUBA so my boss asked me if I’d be willing to make a dive to see if I could find the problem why water was no longer feeding out of the lake.

I rounded up everything I would need for a late winter dive into icy water, and we headed up into the Ramapo Mountains to McMillan Reservoir in a rickety old Jeep.

The water valve and pipe were in this stone structure that was built into the lake-side of the dam. No one who was presently living knew what it looked like inside the stone structure since the dam was built very early in the 1900s and the lake had never been drained. The water was rich with iron so one could never see more than three feet in depth. All that was known was that I could enter the water below the valve or through a water window in the structure that let water into the chamber from the lake. I choose the water window.

I entered the water and immediately a shot of cold water went down my back inside the wet suit. That’s how wet suits work, you get wet and the water warms to body temperature and is kept warm by the nitrogen bubbles in the suit.

Once wet I headed to the water window and I entered the stone structure with my flashlight and I descended slowly down to about 30 feet where I reached the bottom where there was an opening to the north into another chamber where the six-inch pipe was housed. The pipe was chocked with mud and ooze and litter. I picked away at it, but then thought if I clear this pipe my arm is going to get sucked into it and I’ll never get away. My air would run out before anyone realized there was a problem.

I carefully resurfaced to get a crow bar and to have the crew above assure me the valve was closed. I returned to the depths and worked for about ten minutes clearing the pipe, but in the process my flippers kicked up a lot of mud from the bottom, as did my pipe cleaning activity. I could no longer see unless I put my light right up against my mask.

Here I was blind and weightless under 30 feet of water inside a dam. I knew how much air I had in reserve. My job was done, but I lingered for probably ten more minutes in total sensory deprivation. The only sense I had that was getting any input was my hearing. The bubbles make a great deal of noise when you exhale under water. You can also hear a slight whistle when you inhale.

I feel as though I now know what it feels like to float out in the darkness of space.

3 Comments:

Blogger Storminmotion said...

Swearing this,,,, I lost a step brother just this way, because he wore no life line and cleared a clog,
in 8 feet of water

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have wondered what sex would be like in space and wieghtlesness.

7:13 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

This happened when I was 19, and remember at 19 you consider yourself immortal.

I get the impression that sex is greatly enhanced by gravity. It seems without gravity opposing objects would keep floating away, hence the need for constant re-entry which looses it's charm after about ten times. My opinion only on this one.

10:01 PM  

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