This is Cooper and me after cleaning the house on Hump Day. With the wind still blowing like Gale was trying to get somewhere fast, we pretty much stayed inside, except for the smoked chicken I was trying to cook. It's funny how those recipes never turn out with the same results as when I cook something.
I know you're just on pins and needles waiting for that diving story, which as it turned out, was only the first of many. I spent many an hour in the pool swimming laps with my snorkel and mask on. It helped me to believe I could breathe under water and increased my stamina, which I was soon to need. My diving career started when I was 49 years old.
The deep diving class ends with what else, a deep dive. That means taking a dive boat out of Monterey Harbor and cruising over an hour to the OUTSIDE, as in the real ocean far from land (which scared me to death) to find water deep enough. The weather was not cooperating and the waves were crazy high.
This image is a little exaggerated when it comes to going in the water, but it suffices. We were told to hang on to the chain (anchored to the bottom) while descending very slowly. I landed on top of a huge rock while everyone else ended up 20 feet further down on the bottom.
I checked my computer ... it was NOT turned on. So here's the thing. Your computer is your life. It tells you how much oxygen you have in your tank, what the pressure is, how long you've been down, etc. etc. I clung to the chain like my life depended on it ..... and it did!
Since you can't talk under water (although now they have masks where you CAN talk) you gave hand signals. This means I'm OK. I was definitely NOT flashing this sign. I was now scared to death with my computer not working. The more scared you are, the more air you suck down. I tried to be calm. The instructor told me to stay put.
In a flash, I felt the chain running through my hands. WHAT???? What's happening?? Of course my dive partner was nowhere to be seen. I began a slow rise to the surface to find the boat was GONE!!! I kid you not, stranded out in the middle of the ocean with waves crashing into you and NO BOAT!!
I finally caught sight of a couple more divers bobbing around in the swells. We tried to huddle together. No one had any idea what just happened. Suddenly there was another boat on the horizon coming towards us. They threw out a long rope and told us to swim to them. It took almost 45 minutes to get on the second boat. By then we were all so exhausted we could barely climb the ladder.
With the second boat overloaded with passengers, they could not go back to shore and risk a big fine. We sat out there for 90 minutes freezing in the wind, waiting for our boat to return. That of course meant another quarter mile swim because with the swells, they could not take any chances of the boats getting anywhere near each other.
Here's what happened. One guy who probably should not have been doing a deep dive in the first place, got nitrogen narcosis. He had too much nitrogen in his blood at depth, which gets worse the longer you are down. It literally made him go crazy. Our instructor grabbed him as he was swimming deeper instead of going UP, just as the guy ran out of air and began to haul him (kicking wildly) to the surface.
When he DID run out of air, he grabbed the instructor's octo, causing the instructor to almost drown before he could find the second octo for himself. At about 60 feet THEY BOTH ran out of air. That resulted in a mad swim to the surface which could have easily cause the bends for both of them, from too much nitrogen in their blood. You must ascend slowly to give the nitrogen time to get OUT of your blood.
This is why you need that computer. It actually shows you just how much nitrogen you will have in your body depending on the depth and how much you breathe. Cool, yes?
They threw the guy on the boat and it pulled anchor, leaving us all bobbing around alone in the ocean.
Luckily we all survived, including the guy with nitrogen narcosis after he spent the night in a hyperbaric chamber to take him back to the pressure at 100 feet and gradually work the nitrogen out of his blood. Then he sued everyone!!!
Completely exhausted we all made it back to the dock and as you can imagine, we all kissed the ground when we arrived. There's nothing like a scuba diving accident to put things in perspective. That didn't stop me though, now I wanted to become an instructor. I figured maybe, just maybe, I would gain enough confidence that I wouldn't be scared to death my next time out.
Oh yes ... turns out there would be several more incidences like that in my future ... I just didn't know it at the time. Soon I would be regaled in every kind of life saving device you could possibly hang on my BCD.
In the meantime, here's my just cleaned coffee table after four more hours of wind. Honest, I really did clean it!!!
Oh ... and those chicken breasts I was smoking? The Chance family said they were terrific!! I forgot about pictures, so maybe I'll get some today of the two stashed in my freezer.
So I guess driving alone in a large motorhome (well, there are the dogs and parrot of course) is NOTHING compared to being stranded in the ocean wondering what the "H" just happened. WOW Nancy, that is some story for sure.ReplyDelete
That's exactly what was going through my mind while floating around out there. Scary ... and we weren't even THINKING of sharks!!Delete
Yikes. Your story scared me. You should have listened to your mother!!!! What happened with the lawsuit?ReplyDelete
It scared me too Elva, which is why I went right back to it so I would feel more comfortable in the water.Delete
Gosh how technology has impacted everything. When my hubby and I were diving while cruising with our boats, we used pressure gauges to let us know how much air we had in our tanks. However, I think besides all the new gadgets, the thrill and fear of being down there stays the same.ReplyDelete
That is exactly correct Marlene. The old I got, the smarter I got! I finally had to quit diving.Delete
Gotta say that story made me not breathe! Uhhh..never liked water that much, so that would have done me in! Your table reminds me of living here..it's daily dusting, sweeping and it's right back again!ReplyDelete
Makes you hold your breath, right? Up until that time I had eight pool dives and four ocean dives. You can imagine how afraid I was!Delete
That was a frightening first deep dive Nancy 😱 Glad it turned out okay. It was awfully windy yesterday and glad it died down for today. The Chances were probably just being nice 🤗ReplyDelete
I was pretty scary, even now when I think about it. I'm glad the wind died down for you. SO much nicer!!Delete
I couldn't read all of your underwater story, my heart races fast enough in water! Glad it turned out!ReplyDelete
I'll focus on the cute pictures of Cooper. :)
I can't believe the winds just redid all your cleaning! Yeuch!
As you can imagine, now whenever I see a movie or any rescue program underwater, I hold my breath!!! LOLDelete