Saturday, July 19, 2008

The 'Brac

Some weeks are better than others, and some weeks are remembered for a life time.
Of the 17 dives Lesli and I logged last week, the sunken remains of the Russian frigate #356 was my favorite. Ship wrecks hold an eerie silence that cannot be ignored. The dark shadows cast from the jagged and twisted war ship provoked feelings of haunt and mystery.
Moving slowly in a neutrally buoyant world, shallow breaths as I penetrated the wheelhouse and swim inside the ghost ship. Down a short dark hall absent of light, only glimmers of hanging shards of metal every few feet as I swim forward. I reach the end of the hall and am forced to turn 90 degrees to the right. My arms outstretched and eyes wide open looking to catch any available light but there is none. I swim into a large open room, perhaps a mess hall once occupied by Russian sailors.
I feel relieved to have light streaming in from above, but slowly increasing panic elevates my heart rate as I look upon the steel bars on the ceiling with no apparent way out. In just seconds an escape route comes into view as I move around the room but I continue breathing as if I am ascending Shenandoah. The thought of 2000 psi of air on my back works to calm my panting. Slowly and surely I left the watery grave. The seas have taken over. Coral and barrel sponges are starting to blanket the aluminium vessel that was purposely sunk in 1996. A flaming scallop now lives in the 50mm cannon.Another dive comes to mind, and is a close second to the ship wreck. It was a drift dive (actually two drift dives) off the airport wall on the northwest corner of Cayman Brac.
We jumped in and were pulled by mother ocean on a sight seeing tour in 60-80 feet in swift moving current. Like we were on a conveyor belt, eight of us drifted and flew, hovered and kicked, along the ocean floor and along the wall.Passing a turtle I moved in for a closer look. Kicking against the current I'd like a better shot. My legs feel strong. This is about the most physical activity I'd had in a week. (Other than racing to the all you can eat gourmet buffet every few hours).
I throw a huge effort down and am able to fight back the wall of water, The persistent 7 knot current won eventually but I get the shot of the turtle. I spent the next five minutes trying to catch my breath through the regulator.Lesli got this shot of cow fish mating in the swift current.
A fun-loving bunch. Pete, Matt, Joe, BJ, Gilles, Phil, Me, Susan, Lesli, Michele, James and guy (sorry I cant remember his name). We had fun, ate lots of food, played bingo and drank a few beers. Hope we can do it again soon.

1 comment:

wraith said...

Sounds like you didn't have fun? Can't wait to hear more. I guess it will have to be after a week of punishment.