As I may have mentioned, occasional insomnia has its rewards. I conked out early, exhausted by a harrowing 70 minutes of telephonic registration for a new health insurance policy. I woke up about 2 a.m. You know the feeling. "So much for this night's sleep. What the Hell do I do until sunrise.?"
So I turned on the teevee. Lo and behold, there is Lloyd Bridges jumping off a boat. I couldn't have been more pleased.
A long time ago I had just returned to San Diego from my second WestPac cruise. Loafing round my girl's apartment I'd occasionally glance at her 11-inch black and white television receiver and happened to catch an image of Lloyd Bridges jumping off a boat. I couldn't have been more pleased.
While I couldn't claim that my girl possessed the center-fold sightliness of Jan Harrison, Lloyd and I did share something. We were divers, SCUBA experts in the wonderful years before every vacationing data entry clerk from Exit 12, New Jersey, became a "certified(!) diver" after a three-hour session in a Nassau hotel pool.
Strictly speaking, "expert" somewhat exaggerates my skills in those days. I was as adept as a guy could get after maybe ten or twelve wet hours, not all of them with breathing gear.
Westbound destroyers called at Midway Island en route from Honolulu to Yokosuka for fueling and one short day of sightseeing. That was plenty. When you've seen one Laysan Albatross, you've see them all. The same goes for long, hot air strips hearkening back to the rotary piston era. So, on the second trip I checked out mask, snorkel and fins from Special Services and went reef gliding. Hooked.
In the middle of the six-month cruise we generally spent a few days on Guam, the world's second most boring island (after Manhattan). The morale station there had tanks and regulators available, and all you had to do was sign a chit certifying that you knew what you were doing. It was my first and only lie, but I managed to survive a couple of afternoons on the pretty reefs. Later, back on Civvy Street, I undertook to actually learn something about it and, eventually, wound up with an instructor's card from the YMCA and some other documents from PADI and NAUI.
All of which is to say I have never gotten over the miracle of artificial gills, of going down there where, when the fish blew bubbles at me, I could blow back. Just like Mike Nelson of Sea Hunt, which you can see on THIS channel.
Oh. Jan Harrison, you ask?
I'm aware that among my readers lurk a few degenerates who prefer more revealing images. Shame. This is a family oriented blog. Couldn't find one anyway.