Shark Story (posted by Ann)
I'd never been on a night dive before, and I was really looking forward to/scared to try/excited/terrified about the prospect of doing one. So, the first day on the dive boat, I went to the briefing, got my little phosphorescent do-hickey to put on my regulator to identify me as a non-dive-master ordinary sort of person, picked up my dive light, and got geared up. During that process my buddy and I decided that we would do a group dive instead of just the two of us.
I kept thinking about that old story that you don't have to be faster than the cheetah, just faster than the slowest gazelle . . . the more the merrier, right?
All six of us who are diving together are standing on the dive platform at the back of the boat, going through the last checks before we get in. One of the women in the group, Brittney, says to the captain "I really want to see a shark". And he responds, offhand, "You will."
It takes a second for this to sink in.
"You sound so certain!" I say.
Now, get this answer. Here I am, about to jump into the pitch black water. Not a pool, the ocean. Ocean with a big O.
"Because when you jump in, we feed the snapper that hang out under the boat, and they get all excited. When they get excited, the sharks get excited, and they come out to see what's going on."
I am sure that the look on my face was really something, because when I took a deep breath and chanted to myself "I'm not wimping out, I'm not wimping out" and jumped in, the captain threw the bread they were going to feed the snapper right at me. He was literally hitting my head with the pieces of bread, and laughing the whole time.
The snapper attack the bread like it's going to swim away, so they were flying through the water right at me like torpedos, and exploding out of the water right beside me and ripping the bread to shreds.
I decided I'd just put my regulator in and get a little bit under the water to get out of the way of the feeding frenzy, so I sank down about a foot.
Then I saw them. The water around the boat was lit up with floodlights, and where the light faded to black, there were these shapes moving in and out of the light. They would come into the light, and you could see that they were huge sharks. Huge. Then they'd glide back out of the light, and you could just see the shapes moving in the dark.
I have to say that reading this, and thinking about it, I really wonder about my sanity because I: 1) jumped in the water to begin with, and 2) didn't get out even when I saw the sharks.
I went diving instead. And it was so fabulous that I forgot about the sharks, forgot to be scared, and was totally enthralled. I even went back in the next night for a repeat.
I saw a turtle sleeping on the ocean floor that was so big, he looked like a boulder. The dive master measured him and they told us he was 120 years old. I saw moray eels, and octopus, and ... and ...
It was great. I know you are all thinking I'm a lunatic, but you know what I was thinking about when I saw those sharks and chose to keep going?
Grandy told me one time that when you get old, all you have left is your memories.
And I'm going to have me some good ones.