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30 September 2016

Flashback Friday | Holding Your Breath Underwater

 


Today is the Flashback Friday blog hop over at A Life Examined. The idea is to republish an old post of yours that maybe didn't get enough attention, or that you're really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc. We started this blog almost three years ago and have many more followers now then we did back then. I figure that there are probably a number of our earlier blog posts that some of you haven't seen before which might be of interest.

I originally wrote this post when Scott and I were in the planning stages of living and cruising on a sailboat full-time. I was doing lots of reading and researching at the time. While I learned tons, I also found about all sorts of things to be scared of when it comes to boating. Like worrying if your boat is going to capsize and whether you can hold your breath long enough underwater before it turns itself back around.

{This post was originally published in August 2013. You can find it here.} 

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How long can you hold your breath for underwater? This is a really important question so think carefully before you answer.

Are you ready? Do you have your answer? Good. Let's see how you did.

The correct answer is 2 minutes. 

And how do I know this? Well, as a very supportive wife, I thought I should do some more reading about sailing so that I can show an interest in Scott’s passion. So I was reading through Beth Leonard’s book, The Voyager’s Handbook, when the following passage caught my eye:
  
“An offshore boat needs to stay upright. It if is rolled by an exceptionally large wave, a monohull needs to come back upright within less than 2 minutes, the length of time most of us can hold our breath.”

Holy buckets!! Are you kidding me?!

A couple of years ago, Scott gave me a copy of a glossy brochure entitled "Cruising into the Sunset with Your Partner." I read it very carefully especially the small print. Scott is very crafty and twists words and phrases with the polish of a politician so it is really important to read the small print carefully.

I read the brochure multiple times. It described walks on moonlit beaches, tropical drinks served in coconuts, relaxing with a good book in the cockpit and had lots of pictures of dolphins and Narwhals frolicking in the ocean.

Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, did it say anything about boats rolling over and needing to hold your breath underwater for two minutes. If I wasn’t married to him, I would report him to NZ Commerce Commission for violations of the Fair Trading Act. (Note: If Scott ever hands you a glossy brochure with a mischievous smile on his face, I implore you to read the small print very closely. Then read it again. Then consult your attorney and have him/her read it too.)

I have absolutely no idea how long I can hold my breath underwater or if I can hold my breath at all. Clearly, I need to test this out.

I thought about filling up my bathtub with water and trying it out there. Then I remembered that the apartment I live in is roughly the size of a shoe box so I don’t have a bathtub.

Next I thought of filling the kitchen sink up with water and sticking my head in. Seemed like a good idea but then I realized I won’t know when two minutes are up because my head will be stuck in a sink full of water.

I headed off to my local Warehouse store to buy a kitchen timer so that I can hear it go off when two minutes are up (this is assuming I can hold my breath for two minutes and I’m still conscious by the time the timer goes off).

For those who don’t know, Warehouse is New Zealand’s answer to Target. Well, it is actually New Zealand’s answer to a down market type of Target. It's the type of store that generally never has what you’re looking for and the pricing information on the shelves doesn’t actually correspond to the merchandise displayed on those shelves. They do however have displays up front of weird and wonderful products on special, such as tubes of toothpaste for NZ$1 each. Upon close examination of the writing on the toothpaste box, however, you’ll note that the toothpaste was intended for sale in Malaysia, not New Zealand.

By the way, if you were ever wondering what happens to all of those containers which fall off ships, they wash up in New Zealand where they unpack them and sell the stuff in the Warehouse accounting for the randomness of their inventory. On the particular day I went to the Warehouse there were no kitchen timers. There was a price tag on the shelf that said “Kitchen Timer - $5.99”, but no actual kitchen timers. I did, however, walk out with five tubes of toothpaste.

So with no reliable methodology to test whether I can hold my breath underwater for two minutes, I’ve decided the next best thing to do is to learn more about sailboats. There are two great benefits to this:
    1 - When Scott is rambling on about sailing enthusiastically imparting his sailing expertise to me, I’ll have some sort of clue as to what he is rambling on about sharing with me and on what points he needs correction.
     
    2 - I’ll have a better idea about what to look for when we upgrade our boat, in particular, ensuring we buy one that won’t roll over.

    To that end, I’ve decided to do a series of blog posts about boat buying. It should prove to be educational and amusing (well probably more amusing than educational). {You can find the series here.}

    What kind of wacky things does your partner talk you into doing? How long can you hold your breath underwater?

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    22 comments:

    1. Two minutes? I don't think so. I don't think I'd make two minutes.

      Hubby and I are in our late 60s so we don't talk each other into anything risky. We are so beyond anything risky.

      Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

      ReplyDelete
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      1. I don't think I was ever a risk taker to begin with but I'm even less of one as I get older.

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    2. "The Warehouse. The Warehouse. Where everyone gets a bargain!" That one on Queen Street was the absolute worst! Thanks for the morning belly-laugh and walk down memory lane!

      Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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      Replies
      1. The one on Queen Street is the one that I would always go to :-)

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    3. I avoid being in water where I might have to be under the surface holding my breath. When I was younger I used to see how long I could hold my breath underwater, but I don't think I ever accurately timed it. I think I might be able to hold my breath for 2 minutes, but if caught by surprise and immersed in a situation like a capsized boat I'm not sure it would be quite the same. I'd probably panic. I guess that's why it's good to prepare oneself for such things if one goes boating or such. Good luck finding me on a boat.

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

      ReplyDelete
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      1. I used to be able to hold my breath for a while when I was a kid playing around in the pool, but these days, I'd probably panic and would be lucky to be able to hold it for 10 seconds :-)

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    4. Yeah,I'd probably just die. Well, I've had a good life overall. 2 minutes? Sure. I remember reading this post before because i remember the slashed out words. I may have spit my coffee out over those.

      ReplyDelete
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      1. I like your perspective - I'd probably die too but it has been a good life :-)

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    5. Maybe 20 seconds. 2 minutes is a long time! We talk each other into ridiculous things all the time! It's fun!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. But the real question is - what does Hastings talk you guys into :-)

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    6. 2 minutes? I doubt it! I assume you've never had to try it out for real in the intervening 3 years.

      ReplyDelete
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      1. I've never had to try it out and fingers crossed I never have to.

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    7. My best was 3 minutes, 23 seconds, but it was outside the water. Underwater would probably be about 2 and a half minutes.

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      1. It sounds like you would be just the kind of person we'd want on board. You can hold your breath longer than two minutes and then could resuscitate the rest of us who couldn't.

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    8. I would not make 2 minutes, this is for sure! :)

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    9. You're so brave! I can swim (and I'm fat so I float well. lol), but I'm kinda scared of boats and water. It's hard for me to hold my breath for a minute. I'd never make it 2. Your adventurous life sure is fun to read about though. Have a great weekend!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I'm really not brave. I'm terrified a good chunk of the time. Just crazy, I guess. I float pretty well too :-)

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    10. As research for story I am working on, I've been reading a lot about Polynesian divers who have extended their abilities to hold their breath underwater. I would never make 2 minutes but some professional pearl divers go well beyond that.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I've seen those divers. They're amazing! Maybe I should sign up for training with them :-)

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    11. I actually never tested how long I can hold my breath underwater. I do know it is not very long, because every time I was kind of trying it out just for fun, it was no fun at all, and I panicked pretty quickly. Better not to focus on how long you can hold your breath, when diving down in snorkel gear to investigate a pretty fish, anemone or coral! More enjoyable that way...

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I thought nothing of holding my breath swimming as a kid, but now it makes me panicky. Oh for the days of childhood fearlessness.

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