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