Strike one, strike two, strike three – this was how I started my morning as I was swinging a hammer topside to tack up a pile wrap system while working under a pier. I just plain missed the nail three times. I then switched to my left hand and struck out again. Hmmm…something’s up.
Then it dawned on me – I’ve spent the last two weeks doing the same tasks underwater, while just today switching out to topside duty. My vision had adapted to the refraction, or light bending, through the water/air interface of my mask. I likely compensated for the magnification of viewing things through a mask as well.
While I was alone, I was still embarrassed, but then somewhat relieved that physics was to blame. I always find these more complex yet routine situations amusing in that they illustrate the fundamentals.
So lesson learned – never underestimate the value in good basic scuba training. There are lessons for life right there for the taking. For the instructors out there – this is the one opportunity we have to hammer home these seemingly simple concepts in physics…don’t skimp on the content, as you just never know when and where their value will be appreciated.