You know, where I got sea sick under water and then “fed the fish”.
Later that dive, I was stung by a Portuguese Man of War as I surfaced.
Then in my story I pretended I never went scuba diving again, when actually:
I went diving at the Great Barrier Reef and could not convert to the metric system (Okay, stop thinking less of me, I was young and stupid)…well, I dove so shallow that I ended up being swept away by the current and had to be rescued by a glass bottom boat.
Oh and I did a giant stride off of a platform of a dive boat but forgot to put my regulator (breathing device) in my mouth.
Let’s face it, I was dangerous.
But, there may have actually been a purpose for my quest to be the best diver ever (ha!)…
One cloudy afternoon in Cancun I boarded a dive boat. I was alone on vacation and decided to use the scuba skills that I had so carefully honed. After a few minutes, the boat headed out to the open ocean. The waves were pitching the boat briskly up and down. My weak stomach held out, for which I was thankful.
About a half an hour later, the boat came to a stop far from land.
“Okay, listen up!” the Dive Masters shouted over the roar of the wind. “We’re all going to do a giant stride into the water. As soon as you’re in, decent and wait for me at the bar beneath the boat.”
Standing at the edge of the boat, I did a huge scissor step out and landed in the warm water. A giant swell hit me a moment later and I eagerly abided the order to descend.
Letting air out of my buoyancy vest, I slipped below the surface of the gray blue water. The weights around my waist moved me swiftly downwards, sinking below the boat. The ropes holding the heavy bar below the boat became visible and I grasped one and descended farther and farther until I reached the bar.
Holding on tightly, I was pitched up and down with the movement of the boat. Above, the silhouette divers came toward me in slow motion, like a platoon of paratroopers floating to the ground. They gracefully moved closer and closer, until they were able to grab onto the bar.
At the back of the boat was a huge propeller. As the boat pitched, the giant blades thrust downward. Out of the corner of my eye I caught glimpse of diver heading into a perilous situation.
Waving my arm, I tried to attract the divers attention. Sliding down the steel bar, I moved toward the diver. He still did not see me.
Suddenly, the boat pitched lower than ever and neared the divers head. It was a disturbing sight.
With all my might I reached upward and grabbed the divers ankle. I thrust my arm down with seemingly superhuman strength and pulled him toward me. At that moment I saw the blade strike his head.
Pulling him further down, I grabbed his arm and brought him face to face with me. His eyes looked dazed at first, but then he focused in on me. Blood from his head began flowing into the ocean. Head wounds usually bleed profusely, often making things look worse than they actually are. At a glance, the wound didn’t look too bad.
It was a miracle that the diver had not been decapitated, no less come out with only a small gash to his forehead. It looked more like a shallow laceration.
Using universal scuba signs, I gestured to the diver “You okay?”
He nodded his head yes.
It seemed that no one had noticed what had just happened. Keeping hold of the diver, I urgently waved the dive master over. He came quickly, and I turned my victim over to the hands of a professional.
The two communicated with hand motions. They were pointing up and pointing down. I was hoping that the guy would be escorted to the surface to be checked out, but to my astonishment the diver followed the dive master as the group moved downward.
We all continued our decent to the ocean floor. The visibility was improving and the sun was burning through the clouds and permeating the water.
Vague memories are all that I have of the adventure. I’m sure that I saw some fish and a reef. But I couldn’t tell you much more.
Two questions swirled around and around in my head…
Would this guy make it safely through the dive?
Would the blood that continued to stream from his face attract SHARKS?
Or maybe the questions were in a different order.
After what seemed like an eternity, we all surfaced.
As soon as I saw “the victim” I approached him.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, thanks,” he said casually.
With that he walked to the other side of the boat.
“Hey, dude!” I shouted. “I just saved your life!”
Stunned, I sat staring out at the serene blue waters.
Not another word was said about the drama that had unfolded less than an hour before.