U = Underwater Adventures

When I was in university, I dated a guy who was an avid scuba diver. I had always had an interest in diving after watching endless episodes of The Undersea World with Jacques Cousteau, and with P’s encouragement, I enrolled in a course and obtained my certification.

Our relationship didn’t last long enough for us to actually go diving together, but this early introduction to the underwater world set the table for several amazing future adventures.

I could tell you about introducing my new husband to diving while on our honeymoon in Barbados in 1983.  The diving location itself wasn’t particularly interesting, but for Gilles it was a major WOW.  Our first dive lasted only 20 minutes because he was hyperventilating with so much excitement. He sucked that oxygen down like a man dying of thirst.

I could tell you about our family diving vacation in 2001 to Cozumel, Mexico. Introducing our sons to the underwater world was a privilege and a lot of fun.

Scuba Cozumel

2001 Cozumel, Mexico – Misha, Jordan, Gilles

When I think about scuba diving however, my first thought is always of 2004 when I realized a long time dream of diving on the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Australia.

We spent 3 days on a dive boat out of Cairns.  Our youngest son was travelling with us, but because he wasn’t certified, he was restricted to snorkelling.  Since the marine life on and around the Reef was so amazing, everything we saw while diving with tanks, Misha saw too on his snorkelling excursions.  My favourites were the parrot fish and giant turtles.

Great Barrier Reef

I was always a little bit anxious on these dives with thoughts of water snakes and sharks never far from my mind.  I preferred to swim behind Gilles since he tended to drift off on his own if I wasn’t paying attention. I had this irrational fear of losing him underwater. Between Gilles and the sharks, I was a bit of a stress bunny underwater.

We were on one of the last dives of our trip. Gilles and I were returning back to the boat, swimming along a coral wall about 15 feet below the surface.  That’s when it happened.

I felt something grab my ankle and tug sharply on my leg.

My heart rate immediately leaped into the heart attack zone as I jerked around ready to fight for my life.  Instead of the terrifying mouth of a shark, I was confronted with the grinning face of Misha who was now waving happily at me.

He had been on the surface snorkelling when he saw us approach and decided to dive down to meet us.  The only way he could think to get my attention was to grab my leg. Needless to say, when we reached the surface and I explained what he had done, Misha – a typical teenage boy – thought it was hilarious.

I – on the other hand – aged a few years on that dive.


April A to Z Challenge 2015

Thank you for visiting.  Please have a slice of Upside Down Cake before you go.


image from Wikipedia

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge - 2015, Adventure, Family, Memories, Nature, Outdoor Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to U = Underwater Adventures

  1. jannatwrites says:

    You are pretty adventurous! It seems scaring the wits out of moms is a favorite pastime of boys, haha 🙂


  2. treerabold says:

    Oh, I can see why you panicked!! Probably good you didn’t start swinging before you realized it was your son.


  3. Shades of Jaws!! A great underwater shot of your tykes and their dad.


  4. Learning to scuba dive has always been on my bucket list, I hope one day I can put a check beside it. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Alex Hurst says:

    I want to go scuba diving so badly in Okinawa, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen. N J has an irrational fear of jellyfish and putting her head underwater. No scuba diving for her.


  6. mickscogs says:

    I am such a bad swimmer that diving could not be further from my list. However, I am glad people like yourselves show me and write about these activities. I have snorkelled in NSW. The wet suit gave me bouancy which was nice then shark phobia kicked in.
    As for the upside down cake, I was given an upside down world map for Christmas but being a map purist, I don’t like it much. On the map, places like Greenland, at the bottom, are bigger than South America. That drives me spare.


    • joannesisco says:

      The buoyancy of wetsuits is wonderful for swimming but for diving we need to wear a weight-belt to counteract it. I’m not used to the ocean so I’m pretty leery in water … shark phobia is only the beginning of it 😉

      I’ve seen the upside maps and they are really disorienting. I’ve heard that the current maps have distorted the size of certain continents … ef North America appears larger than it really is. I don’t know if that’s true or not.


      • mickscogs says:

        You know, first thing in the morning and I could not spell buoyancy. Spelling is a strength too. Uh Oh.
        The ocean is big beautiful, and scary, place. We need to look after it – sorry, soapbox moment. Only V, W, X, Y, Z to go.
        It is true about rectangular projections. Globes are the best way to assess the size of a land mass.
        Today is a the day Australians honour those who served us in horrible wars; Anzac Day. It is also the day that Jo and I bring our caravan home from the beach and my dog’s 11th birthday. Sorry for rabbiting on.


  7. Upside down cake for being under water or for being ‘down under’ in Australia? hehe 🙂 You are braver than I am. I LOVE to snorkel but couldn’t do the whole diving thing. Great post 🙂


  8. Heart in mouth moment Joanne!


  9. cleemckenzie says:

    What a wonderful world to be able to explore and with your family. However, having someone or something grab my ankle would have shot me into the stratosphere!
    AtoZ Challenge Team Leader

    p.s. Thanks for the Upside Down Cake.


  10. Sammy D. says:

    Lol. Lovely places to dive. I’ve snorkled a few places and loved it but never took scuba training ( bravery in the water goes only so far)!! I swear I had a giant fish chase me one day – he came right up to my face; I swam away, turned around and he was in my face; i swam faster, there he was; i was terrified and pummeled my arms beating hell for the shore. Stayed on the beach for a couple days!


  11. Oh wow! Yes definitely another adventure that just scares the bejesus out of me!! I don’t know how you do it! I tell you though, if I did scuba dive, I’d have to wear a lot more clothing than your guys did, I’m talking full suit. Don’t even know why, guess I’d just feel more protected, but then again…that really wouldn’t do much against a shark bite!!


  12. Lynn says:

    This made me laugh so hard Joanne. I have a 30 year old son who is a prankster! I could totally see him doing something like this. Have never tried diving but we have good friends who do. They absolutely love it!


  13. I met once a water snake and I am certain I broke every record in the book of mankind, when I swam back to the shore. Scuba diving is such a great adventure. Thank you for the upside down cake, I haven’t made one in a long time, now you make me change my shopping list.


    • joannesisco says:

      I’m pretty sure an encounter with a water snake would be the death of me. I’m pretty sure I would NEVER go back in the water again!!

      I probably haven’t had upside down cake since high school. If you do end up making some, have a piece – preferably a big one – for me too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Okay, I’m going to confess that this is something so NOT on my bucket list. Never had the urge to send myself deep under water. It’s a bit too like the option of being buried alive.

    And I’m glad you survived the GBR dive even if it was with a few extra grey hairs courtesy of the teenage son. Made me stressed just reading you were going. The disappearance of the Lonergans in 1998 is somewhat seared into the Australian psyche. Along with what happened to Tina Watson, the idea of diving on the Great Barrier Reef makes most of us a little nervous.

    I’ll pass on the cake. Never been a big pineapple fan. (Lucky I don’t live in Queensland.) Too full from a roast dinner with apple crumble anyway.


    • joannesisco says:

      I remember the Lonergan story but I had look up the Tina Watson story. I can’t begin to imagine the horror! The Lonergan incident resulted in new audit procedures going into and out of the water. When we were there, it was pretty robust (thankfully!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Tim says:

    I wish I could introduce everyone to diving. Underwater is a completely different world, I love how it’s just you and the sound of your bubbles. And how you can move up/down/backwards/forwards so weightlessly. i haven’t gotten to the Great Barrier Reef yet, it’s on my bucketlist but Australia is so far away.


    • joannesisco says:

      I agree with you completely. There is this amazing world underworld that most people never get to explore.
      My favourite diving is within 45 feet of the surface where the colours of the coral and fish are most dominant.
      I hope to get back to Australia some day. This time I’d like to conquer the Reef with a camera 🙂


  16. The fear of sharks and water snakes is enough to keep me OUT of the water. Seriously, you are an ironman / woman. What haven’t you done? You are truly amazing, Joanne. Thanks so much for sharing your interesting life.
    I’m glad it was your son who grabbed your ankle. o_O


  17. Corina says:

    Oh! My heart stopped right along with yours at the end there!
    And upside down cake! I have been craving dessert for over a week now and this looks so delicious. I haven’t had any upside down cake since I was in high school and I won’t say how many decades ago that was!


  18. hilarymb says:

    Hi Joanne . fantastic to have had so many dives, and obviously loving it – Id’ have been terrified too .. and I’m sure aged a decade or two .. it doesn’t bear thinking about .. but Australia, Caribbean and Mexico .. must be fabulous places to dive .. cheers Hilary


    • joannesisco says:

      Hi Hilary – I’m not entirely comfortable underwater. It’s not necessarily the ‘stuff’ under the water that unnerves me, but the vastness of the ocean.
      There are so many wonderful places to dive in the world, but our diving vacations are rare.


  19. bulldog says:

    Why am I not surprised that you scuba…. I ask the question again if there is not something you haven’t done…. sons are prone to giving Mom frights … its our way of showing love


    • joannesisco says:

      Well Bulldog, off the top of my head, I’ve never bungee jumped or been on downhill skiis. The latter is particularly sad seeing as I come from a winter country 😉

      … and yes, sons definitely make life interesting and occasionally heart-stopping. It must be one of those things written in an unofficial guide book for boys 😉
      I’m sure you have NEVER given your mom … or your wife … occasion to age prematurely 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  20. lovetotrav says:

    U is for unbelievably scary…that is.. until you realized it was your son!


  21. Wow! What a handsome fellow your son is! He does look like you, Joanne. Such a history you have with diving, but of course your teen would be the one to make it the most memorable dive ever, huh? Ugh. I can just see myself in that situation….there would’ve been no turning around to look, I would’ve walked/run on water to get myself out of there probably dragging said teen straight out of there with me still grabbing onto my leg!


    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Torrie 🙂 I’m inclined to think my sons are extraordinarily handsome … but I might have a small bias 😉

      Misha is such a gentle soul, it would not be his style to deliberately scare someone or pull a practical joke. He was totally apologetic … but we still laugh at the incident.

      I laughed at the visual of you torpedoing on the water … just like in the cartoons 😀


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