When you get to dive under
ice it is to normal diving what normal diving is to swimming
on the surface.
I won't pretend I wasn't more
nervous on these dives, but they were really unworldly and a
fabulous experience. Your bubbles rise and stick against the
underside of the ice making great silver mirrors as they do
so. The dive hole that you worry you will lose before you go
down becomes a great search-light shining down from the surface.
You see things in the water in
these winter conditions that you never see otherwise, in this
picture for instance, I'm swimming through a huge swarm of sea-creatures
related to jellyfish called "Ctenophores" you can make out 3
of them oval-shaped objects behind me in the picture. There
were literally thousands of them drifting slowly by, most are
not visible in this picture. Ctenophores have bands of cilia
that run their length and waft them along causing interference
patterns as they do so, this looks like a monochrome world,
but in reality it was surrounded by numberless rainbow phantoms.
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