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The mishap illustrated one of many rules that the sea subverts: on dry land a healthy teenager will invariably outperform a septuagenarian in any physical exercise. Underneath the waves, age is as fluid as water. Confronted with a problem, the soldier lost control of his buoyancy, flailing like a fish in a net, while the older man, an emeritus professor of theatre history, calmly recalibrated their dive plan, communicating the change in the limited vocabulary of scuba sign language. Only once we were back on board was the natural order restored, as the senior grouched about the teen, who stretched out in the heat, blithely unaware of the animus he had attracted.