2000-12 I'm Going Back

By Marty Snyderman

At the end of most dive trips the thought crosses our minds that we need to return again. Somewhere in our DNA is a gene that revels in discovery. And it's never satisfied with the short time we get in the water. It knows there's more and churns restlessly, and we turn the idea over and over in our minds until we can't stand it anymore and just do it. We go back.

There's a site I revisit at least once every month. It's only a breakwall for a small harbor, but in those dark, cold waters I discover something new with each outing. But this sentiment is not limited to my breakwall. Some of you hardcore cases can't wait until the surface of some lake freezes over to again slip beneath the frozen sheet into a world both challenging and exhilarating. It's crazy, but you do it. And in this issue we tell the rest of you how you, too, can get chilled. See our Training column: Ice Diving 101.

Then there's Skin Diver contributor Eric Hanauer, who revisits the far corners of the Pacific-places like Peleliu, Guadalcanal, Bikini, Truk, Guam and Saipan-again and again, tracking down and exploring the relics of a dark moment in our history, wrecks from WWII's War Torn Pacific. His article is both somber and inspiring, and the images are unforgettable.

Also this month, Clay and Martha Wiseman return to an island they'd previously vacationed on 12 times-and, despite both having vestigial gills, had never gone diving. This last time, they decided to forego Jamaica's Blue Mountain for its blue realm, and...well, they're already planning a return trip.

But the call to return can get worse. Dr. Steve Alexander and his wife, Jen, sold everything they owned, bought a boat and began an odyssey that will encompass three years and circle the globe. (The first leg of their expedition is printed in this issue and each month we will update their exploits at www.skin-diver.com.) As of this printing they were anchored on a seamount in the middle of the Pacific, diving a site new to human eyes. All because they wanted to be able to dive sites again and again, at their leisure.

Many happy returns.