Eating and Drinking Before Diving

Everybody knows that it’s not a good idea to drink (alcohol) before going diving.  But, what happens when you eat a LOT of food before you go?

Remember how our moms always used to tell us to wait thirty minutes after eating our lunch/snacks/dinner/whatever before going back into the pool?  Back then I always seemed to have a super natural ability to detect when my mother was full of shit with her notes on what’s best for child rearing. That bit about how I shouldn’t go back to my fun swimming activities until the stroke of thirty minutes later was no exception.  Somehow science or natural selection successfully debunked that silly 30-minute-no-swim-rule over the years since I’ve been a kid and I do feel vindicated!  Well, I felt vindicated until scuba diving during a food mishap this last Summer while on vacation with my family.

It was after the first of a two tank dive afternoon that my kids reminded me that we all needed to go eat some lunch or we might all expire from Bataan Death March type malnutrition.  Being on the water does make you hungry!  So, we all decided to try out the menu at Ramon’s dive center/hotel/restaurant which is on Ambergris Caye in Belize.  The menu there looked really good and the food turned out to be excellent!  We were so hungry that I ordered what seemed at the time to others seated at the table, dishes from every part of the menu.  -I consider myself to be a food snob and really, every item that we ordered was exceptional and impressive…  So, I ate what I considered to be my fair share of what was delivered to our food huddle, A LOT OF FOOD!  That turned out to be a DUMB DUMB DUMB idea to eat so much!

Right after lunch I paid the check and gathered my Salty Dogs dive group in order to muster for our next diventure, the second tank exploration of our two tank afternoon.  I felt like a whale I was so full.  Miserable full.  Instead of concentrating on the fun of the upcoming scuba dive, slipping into a full-on food coma was all that was on my mind.  Oh, another thing to tell is that I like spicy food.  I mean I like really really spicy food.  Thai Hot when it’s appropriate!  At that lunch it wasn’t a Thai Hot day, but it was locally Belize grown chili pepper day.  Habaneros get hot, don’t they???  I screwed myself royally with that lunch.  Me being a glutton purchased me the life-like feel of what a manatee must go through when pregnant and experiencing a severe case of HEARTBURN!  Trying not to burp and throw up repeat chili offenders into my reg at 65 feet on that second dive of the day, reminded me that eating right before swimming AND scuba diving, should be managed properly by smart mom types and not by Gore-Garth type ravenous neanderthals like myself!  Remember to watch what you eat and drink before each dive.  Like my mother told me many times before, don’t do as I do, do as I say!

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday.  She’s not around anymore to read this so, I think it’s safe to put down on the Internet for all to see here…  My Mom really did know best.  Happy Birthday Mom.  We sure do miss you!