Yeah, not that kind.

I am now the proud owner of a wetsuit, snorkel, mask, neoprene gloves and bootees for gold sniping! Okay, I admit the rest are just a cover so I can prance about in bootees … but seriously, they are the ‘third arrow’ in any serious prospector’s quiver because they give you access to the alluvial gold deposits underwater off the main flow, in spots that never go dry and hence are out of reach for everyone but the sniper. At least that’s the theory, I just need to prove it! Otherwise my wetsuit will hang on a peg in the garage until someone else 2XL wants it. My inspiration (Gary Honan of Two Toes fame) is to blame if I get stuck under a rock and drown.

I am definitely never putting it in saltwater. This is Australia — we have more sharks than people. If you go far enough North then you can add millions of crocodiles so big that even Great Whites leave them alone. As I’ve said before, Downunder is the place dinosaurs went after Neanderthals chased them out of Europe. If you don’t believe me, go stand near an estuary in Northern Queensland, or throw your poodle into any canal on the Gold Coast. We whiteys are slowly learning what our First People knew sixty-thousand years ago — warm saltwater or cold, it doesn’t matter — stay out.

That’s not to say snorkelling in freshwater is totally safe. You can drown in a bucket if you try hard enough. No, the dangers inland are more insidious than sudden, bitey death from the deep — I will have to be wary of hypothermia’s languid embrace, courtesy of water that doesn’t heat up even in mid-summer. So my choice was for a heavy 7/6mm full-body wetsuit by Xcel that I had to import from California. Hence it’s a little heat-shrunk, I say to myself as I squeezed into it last night. While I was expecting a Jason Momoa-esque Aquaman, I look more like a middle-aged Batman after too many hamburgers. It’s meant to fit like a second-skin; but my suit is so tight it actually fits like my first skin.

But I won’t know anything for sure until I get wet. This was just a short post to warn y’all before I surprise you with some risque shots of me getting all snorkelly. And before you revoke my WordPress account with cries of ‘Sweet Jesus what the fuck is THAT??” remember that I had to put my snuffer bottle somewhere. Now that I think of it, maybe I need to invest in a diving belt. But I already have perfectly good belts, maybe I can covert one to underwater usage. Hmm…

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