I tend to blame a lot of things on the heat here in Phoenix. This time it's not the heat but the torpedoed economy that's been giving me random thoughts about how much of America and others around the world are now underwater because of the huge global recession. These random thoughts floated around in my head long enough to become a trip report, of course
A few might remember my trip to the moon trying to break free from then President Bush's failed economic policies. How I had to use my Bachman Turner Overdrive to escape the vacuum created by those policies in order to reach the moon. This time my BTO has been converted to run a couple of thrusters powered only by my two 6 volt Trojan batteries. I hoped they held enough juice to get me there and back.
Having read Jules Verne at a young age it seemed logical. To follow Captain Nemo's path to the bottom of the sea, to see where middle class America had gone...you sea? So I was diving to the bottom of the deepest canyon on the planet. No, not the Mariana Trench, something deeper. It's called the Obama Abyss...or Obyss.
Lucky for me I'm also a big fan of Clive Cussler and read much of what he writes. This gave me the inside track to hitch a ride on one of his NUMA sub transport ships. NUMA? Of course, National Underwater and Marine Agency founded by Mr. Cussler himself. Do you like my new Outfitter upgrades? This is no sub-par set-up, capable of doing many knots. Mostly granny but a few square and a couple bowlines thrown in. The bowline being the most important, of course. Yacht to know that you salty dogs out there.
After a touch down in calm water a pre-dive check was necessary. As you can see a shark from the offshore Outer Banks, or maybe the American Banks, was already circling. Surely it could tell that I'm not in too deep quite yet.
Dropping a few feet to work out the kinks I couldn't fathom what I was seeing. Fathom, that's an ocean term. You knew that? Well...anyway I couldn't believe my eyes, my first seahorse. He seemed to be in a league of his own at this depth. I named him Seabiscuit, of course.
Dropping deeper took a few hours. At one point I had to get out to stretch my legs. Lucky for me I had my waterproof iPhone to get a picture of this hammerhead shark. I think I nailed it, the picture I mean.
Making it to the ocean floor I was still not very deep. Yet here I stumbled upon the watery grave where old campers go to die.
The Obyss finally came into view and I realized the stories were true, entire populations were underwater.
Being a bit hungry from the days trip I stopped off at the local diner, I could tell it was a dive. They kept playing a song from the Beatles' "Sgt. Peppers", I can't remember the name.
What was the special of the day you might ask? The sub sandwich, of course. Washed down with a glass of Seagrams and Oceanspray, commonly called the "Rapture of the Deep". It definitely cures the bends as well as DSD, deep sea depression from being underwater too long. They told me that sales of alcohol were up while the economy was submerged. I had another, of course, even though drinking and diving are not allowed.
Even though the economy has taken a dive, entertainment is still thriving. The dive-in theater is big, with "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" still making waves after all these years, and popcorn shrimp is the underwater snack of choice. I hear "Jaws" will be playing next week and hopes to take another bite out of viewers wallets.
Before starting the ascent back to the surface I had to fill up. Not fuel for the Outfitter, we're running on 12 volts today. To fill up with the helium/oxygen/carbon dioxide mixture necessary to breath when this deep. Believe me though, it was no fun to talk like a chipmunk while surrounded by sharks. Being underwater can make you feel that way, a bit emasculated when dealing with predators from the Banks.
The only "air" stations were owned by Shell. So this was, of course, a Shell sub-station. And I don't know why I let my friend Nemo talk me into trying a cassette toilet for this trip. Here I was carrying my cassette dump tank around on my back looking all over the seven seas for a place to dump. With my black tank I would have had 3 times the capacity and made it back to dry dock before dumping.
Stopping on the way up to let Bear run around, I thought he would be a wreck. He did great and is now an official salty dog.
Someone is usually asking who took my pictures for me. Now you know, it was Octomom.
I had my souvenir hat and a couple of donuts left for the ascent. More sharks are circling as if they know I'll be back. I am, after all, merely treading water in this ocean of hard times.
So all in all it was a swell trip that lead to a deeper understanding of current conditions that put us we are today. Many banks are now offshore or underwater themselves, corporations are shell corporations, institutions have floated too many bad loans and jobs have definitely gone offshore. Even our x-rays are being read overseas by a different doctor and regurgitated back to our own doctors in the name of saving money. Show me the money! Some of us are able to weather this economic tsunami while others will have a hard time not giving up the ship. The tide is changing and no one seems to be responsible for righting the boat. I'll hope things get better before we all are living a standard-sub life underwater. I mean... sub-standard, of course. At least when we're under water the real things in life become the most important, our true priorities become clear. That would be surrounding ourselves with those we hold dear...to drink beer and watch footballl, oh yeah.
Thanks for reading,
Post script: I hope this trip report will tide you over. If anyone would like to disown a certain whazoo this would be a good time, I would certainly understand. In the meantime I was thinking of a trip...to the center of the earth. Can you dig it?