Snorkel Aqualung Tuba FM
Lying relaxed on the surface of an azure sea, gently inhaling the odours of the ocean through my snorkel and watching a glitter of fish busying themselves around the flamboyant corals like a myriad of clichés, the disc-jockey broke in with news of freeway delays, followed by an earnest ad for a cream to stop that embarrassing itching.
Thats the problem with local radio. It has to be paid for somehow, and commercial aspects do have a way of intruding.
Snorkelling is one method of getting away from it all but the Aqua-Lung Tuba FM, a radio snorkel, is a bit of fun for snorkellers who wish to keep part of their brain in the real world.
An enthusiastic salesman suggested that there was a safety aspect, too: If a school of man-eating sharks suddenly entered the bay where you were snorkelling, you might hear a warning broadcast, he told me.
But not before you were part of that news, Im afraid to say!
The Tuba FM has an on/off switch, volume control and a station-seeking button. The optimum length for a radio aerial is somewhat longer than that of the average snorkel, so the tube of the Tuba FM bows to the pressures of good reception rather than that of the need to consider carbon dioxide build-up.
The sound of the programmes is transmitted through your teeth. In the office, people were astounded that they could hear it resonating through my head, but not when I took it from my mouth. However, that will be no surprise to the many of you who assume that my head is as empty as the soundbox of any stringed instrument!
I enjoy any bit of kit that sparks off a furore of resentment. The Tuba FM caused all sorts of shouts of disapproval from hairy-arsed divers, and Louise in the Diver office, never short of an opinion, said she would rather slit her wrists than be seen with such an item. So I went snorkelling with it.
Moi The prince of kit Snorkelling With nothing more than basic equipment Well, yes I did, and I found it very relaxing. I even held my breath a few times and duck-dived to see the fish eye to eye, forsaking radio reception for a moment.
I did this only a few times, of course. Its far too energetic, especially if you have to clear water from that extra length of tube every time you come up. You need good puff, even though the Tuba FM has an automatic drain valve.
And then there was the problem of seagulls trying to perch on the end, such was the snorkels height above the waves.
No, the Tuba FM is for those who think snorkelling is about lying on the surface and going with the flow. Whether its relaxing or not depends on what you listen to. If youre in the Bahamas and its a Sunday morning, you could get an evangelical ear-bashing!
The Tuba FM costs £169. It uses two AAA batteries and goes through them sooner than you expect, probably because its easy to leave switched on.
  • Aqua-lung UK 0116 212 4200, www.aqualung.co.uk

  • Divernet
    + Keeps brain in real world, even if others think youre on another planet!

    - Over-long tube not ideal
    - Needs batteries