Man of the Deep
“I fashioned a pair of goggles from foam rubber salvaged from the trash bin of an auto upholstery shop. I got a piece of clear rear window convertible top material from the same source and cut out lenses to glue into the foam rubber. A headband made from the chinstrap of a ladies bathing cap and I was set. I jumped into the water at Crystal Pool in Vancouver’s West End. My goggles filled with water almost immediately, but just before they filled up, I could see…underwater! And that’s all it took. I found some gasket glue that my father had in his toolbox and I smeared it on the foam rubber to keep out the water. Well, the gasket glue was some kind of black, sticky stuff that never fully dried. It stayed sticky but it kept the water out and as a kind of a bonus it also stuck to my face, so I looked like a racoon every time I came out of the water!
Then I built a pair of makeshift flippers – or swim fins – from a couple of hand-saw blades that I filched from the junk pile at Vancouver Shipyards in Coal Harbour. I taped them on to the soles of an old pair of running shoes with adhesive tape from my Dad’s first aid kit and, when that ran out, with cloth-based electrical tape from my Dad’s tool box. I used several long pieces of tape to cover the blunt saw teeth and tried them out. They worked. Not great, but they worked.”