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Scared of the Big Wheel Part II

In the deep and velvet blackness, I did my 360 degree turned, following my brief training to the letter.  The light slipped from its lanyard around my wrist and went floating down, spiralling, then it was gone.  It reminded me of losing a fin once, as a child in Sicily.  The ocean floor had looked shallow, the rocks were so clear beneath me.  But it was on diving down to reach my escaped fin that I realised hundreds of feet of water lay beneath me.

My mind drifted to that time, as I breathed in through the regulator and found it a little bit hard.  “Ah”, I thought, “it’s because I’m so deep, that’s why it’s hard to breathe”.  My thoughts wandered to Jules Verne novels.   I looked again for my dive partner, my boyfriend, the dive master.  No one in sight, just me and this yawning blackness.  Poor little light, down there somewhere.  Oh dear, it’s even harder to breathe.

One breath in, then out, then in.  Not in, no more “in”.  I lazily picked up my floating console and there I saw that I was on zero PSI.  Out of air.  84 feet, night dive, first dive.  Ooops.

I’d taken to it like I was born to it.  I turned somersaults and breathed deep, yogi style.  Boyfriend watched amused, he, arms across his chest, flicking a fin occasionally, watching me, flipping and turning, doing everything but shout with glee.  And then I was alone, and in this thick dark, thinking about Jules Verne and my lost fin all those years ago.  Ah, well.

It was wonderful down there, slow and quiet, I stopped trying to circle, to look, to think.  Just then, a face in a mask came at me out of the black.  I looked at it, it looked back at me.  Boyfriend.

My hand came up to my neck and did a slashing motion.  He didn’t move.  I did it again.  He swam forwards, and picked up my console.  His eyes behind his mask, his impossible blue green eyes, went wide.  He picked up his pony and shoved it into my mouth, but my teeth had clamped shut.  Good old nitrogen narcosis.  He grabbed the back of my head and shoved.  “He’s going to break my teeth”, I thought.

He had enough air to even do the safety stops.  When we reached the dive boat, he flung back his masked and asked me if I was okay.  Before I had time to answer, my dive teacher and best friend popped up.

“Moray eel! Come and see!”, she said.

“I’m out of air”, I replied.

“Come down on mine,” she said, and so we did, but not before I heard my American boyfriend say, “Crazy British chicks!”

Leave a comment


  1. good to see this post

  2. Gone are the blissful days before Health and Safety, hey? Hope you are well x


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