- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Methought I saw a
thousand fearful wrecks,
I was in Bermuda 16 days. Fourteen of them ranged from drizzly and bad to torrential and foul. They were not days on which an experienced and prudent instructor like Park Breck would take a rank amateur diver into the open sea. We continued to make shallow dives in the coves from sheltered beaches. I learned to clear my mask under water, to make the proper underwater signals, to judge how many weights I needed in order to sink or rise without fighting the water. I saw little interesting. I picked up a shell or two deep from the bottom. And once I saw an angelfish lurking in a dark cave. In the murky waters he looked like a sunset seen through smog. He didn't count.
Meanwhile, Park Breck and Jeanne, his attractive blonde wife and partner, generously sought to divert me, and at the same time maintain my interest in diving. They asked me to parties with their fellow- Bermuda divers and their wives.
There were the Teddy Tuckers; the Ted Goslings; the Henry Whites; the Freddy Hamiltons; Peter Stackpole (who was doing an underwater movie documentary about treasure diving) and his wife; and the Mendel Petersons. Mr. Peterson, curator of naval history for the Smithsonian Institution, was in Bermuda studying the underwater artifacts brought up by the Bermuda divers, especially those brought up by Teddy Tucker, the 33-year-old diver who, it seemed, had done more "bottom time" than any diver of his age in the West. Divers all, they welcomed me warmly.
"So you've joined the Flipper Fraternity?" somebody said.
"I suppose, at my age, I am mad even to try."
Mr. Peterson then said, "The best diver I ever knew was a California woman 73 years old."
(Nice people, divers.)
Someone else commented, "Oh, everybody's diving; lung-diving is the fastest growing sport in the world. I saw in the Times today, it's a 30-million-dollar business."
Breck said, "It would grow a lot faster if they'd make equipment easier for instructors to handle and safer for amateurs."