Friday, October 16, 2009

Jesus saved me

Yes he did. Today, we were diving at the site of Christ of the Deep, at Dry Rocks, off the coast of Key Largo. Let me first say that I normally believe that any day diving is better than almost anything else, but that is absolutely not true of today.

This was our first stop of our two tank dive, and I was excited that we would get to see the Christ statue, since it is so famous. But virtually everything went wrong with this dive. For some reason, guides do not dive with you here--so you are on your own for navigation and to find all the good stuff yourself. That just adds a little stress that is not necessary.

Second, visibility was not great. And as usual, my stupid mask had fogging problems---I am SO sick of that. But I think I have a plan to deal with that that does not require me to buy a new mask. Amy had leaking problems which is bad cuz she wears contacts. She also did not have enough weights, so fought buoyancy problems most of the time.

But I have to admit, the statue is pretty cool. It is 8.5 feet tall and weighs 2 tons. It is a copy of one that is sunk off the coast of Italy, and was given to the US in 1961. It is made out of bronze. It is in about 25 feet of water, which is really too shallow for my taste. It can lead to current problems if you are that shallow.

And it was the current problems that shot the whole dive to hell. We had an hour to explore, but honestly, there was not much to see. We saw some French angelfish, a decent sized trumpet fish and a barracuda, but not a lot. Amy decided to back to the boat about 45 minutes in, to get more weight. I tried to follow her, but by then, the current was vicious. I had a set to with a big honking jelly fish--probably a foot across. He was gross. I had to go on top of the water to see the boat, and I just could not cover any ground. Amy was supposed to come back to me, but something must have happened, because she did not.

Panic started to set in, as I was getting so tired, and she was not coming, and I could not get back to the boat. I was getting so angry, and scared that I was not thinking straight. Evidently, I was near another dive boat and did not even realize it. They told me to come to their boat and I did. I was taking off my fins to get on their boat when our divemaster, Drew, showed up. I was so addled that I did not even recognize him, and could not figure out why I should go with him like he said to do. It finally sunk in though.

I had to pull myself all the way back to the other boat, via tow rope. It was several hundred yards, and the waves were out of control. I finally got there though, and had to wait at the ladder for a while because I could not get my breath. My muscles were shaking for thirty minutes from over exertion, and the adrenaline and panic took its toll on me. I did not want to go on the second dive, but I had to because if I had stayed in the boat, I would have puked all over everyone else. That dive was better as we were able to work with the current rather than against it. We saw two things we had not seen before, a porcupine fish, and a hogfish of some sort that was really crazy looking, and several French angelfish and a little bitty queen angelfish that was so cute. Amy sprung an air leak though, and we got out around 35 minutes.

Right after we left, we went to the divers supply store and I bought my own fins to use with my booties, because the rental fins are not adjustable and I cannot get a pair that fits both feet. I have a raw spot on my left foot from today's dive, and it is hard to enjoy when you are hurting that bad.

All that effort took it out of us, so we are in for a nap before we go to dinner. Let's hope tomorrow is a little less dramatic!

12 comments:

Gail said...

Scary!!!! I guess I would have died, Jesus or not.

3 Men and a Lady said...

That is a BEAUTIFUL photo. Gorgeous.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

OH MAN that is scary Paige!! I'm so glad the other boat got you!! I've never done anything like that before sounds fun but be careful!!

Anonymous said...

Good Grief! but glad you guys are alright. Sounds scary to me!

Interesting photo.

Please take care--while you enjoy
Carol

Shelley said...

I really love the colors and the lighting in the Jesus photo.

Linda said...

THIS is why I don't dive. (That and I can't NOT concentrate on hearing my breathing.) I would have been a basket case! Glad you are safe. Hope you have better water next dive.

Anonymous said...

Will you PLEASE be more careful? Just thinking about you struggling to get to the boat scared the peediddly out of me. That just about did me in. I could see Jesus clearly, awesome.
Aren't you glad that you're in such good shape?
Take care of my precious daughter.
Love you,
Mom

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I hope Baggy sees these pics. Maybe they will convince her that Jesus is not on the penny.
Mom

Holly said...

well good for you, but this is why I am not a water fan. Don't like to swim and have never dived....sounds like you are having a good time tho!

Amanda said...

Ewwww! The panic in open water is awful. I always think it's ridiculous too considering how much we love the water. But it's truly so scary when you allow yourself to think of the possibilities AND you are fatigued.

Tell Amy to drink a few extra meals tonight so she can stay under water.

have fun!!! love you, aa

EmmaP said...

i have never been diving... maybe i'll wait a little longer after reading this! lol! hope you have a blast!

Robin Sallie said...

I loved the photo.

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