Scraping the Bottom of the
August 4, 2006
I knew before coming here that this was one of the places on my trip that I wanted to go diving. After learning how expensive
things were over here, I was almost scared to see what the costs were going to be. Maybe I’m delusional…but I was almost
somewhat impressed that it was only 50 Euros. I signed up last night and they would pick me up this morning.
I hopped in the back of the pickup truck and held on turn after hairpin turn. After picking up some more people along the way
at other hotels, we ended up at Cote d’Or. I got my equipment and he handed me a shorty wetsuit. This was pure excitement
for me. I had yet to dive anywhere that a full wetsuit wasn’t required. I felt so free to move in this little thing. I loved it! Oh,
how I am going to love the world of diving in warm waters. If that wasn’t good enough, I walked outside to see that they had
set up all of our equipment. We put it on our backs and headed to the boat. There would be two groups of us on the boat – four
in each group.
I advised our divemaster that last time I went diving I ran out of air (or came really close to running out of air). He told me ‘no
problem’. In the meantime, I was going to do what needed to be done to not go through it so quickly.
After a twenty-minute up-and-down ride to the middle of the ocean, our boat was anchored. It was now time to fall back into
the waters. The only experience I had with this was one year ago in a pool when I was taking my classes to get certified. I had
never actually done it in a real-life situation. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I have to say that a) I don’t think I will ever dive in non-
warm waters (therefore eliminating the need for a full wetsuit) and b) I don’t think I will ever dive in a place where you have
to walk in from the shore (it is too painful on the back and makes the whole ordeal more high-maintenance than it needs to be).
I didn’t feel any of the panic on the descent that I did when I went diving in Egypt. What a relief! Maybe I am getting to be a
more rational person? I am sure the jury is still out on that one. It just felt good to be able to thoroughly enjoy being under
water and feel comfortable doing so. I was consciously making an effort to control my breathing and be in a horizontal position
with my arms embracing themselves (thus eliminating excess movement that uses excess breath). There would be one thing
that would stand in the way of my technique – the current that we were moving against. Sadly, not only was the current
pretty strong but the visibility was pretty poor as well. We did see lots of fish and a colorful reef (though I was holding out
hopes of seeing a white-tip shark and an octopus).
And then there was another little glitch. I looked to see how much air I had left and despite my best effort, I was running out
rather quickly. When we are down to ’50 bars’ we are to let our divemaster know. I told him and he gave me the ‘okay’ signal.
I was then down to about 35-40 bars and this is when I detached from my regulator and used his buddy regulator. Why does
this keep happening to me (as this is what I had to do in Egypt as well)? In addition, he looked at my BC and then detached
thing that hooks it up to the air. Huh? I was now underneath the water and completely confused with what was taking place.
How was I going to inflate when I needed to get to the surface? He told me not to worry. Okay. After all, I was going to be
stuck to him for the duration of the dive considering I was using his air supply. And because the scuba-diving Gods were really
testing me today, they would also make it so that my mask was having a difficult time clearing towards the end of the dive. It’s
not very fun being down there and feeling the water coming up from the bottom of your mask – especially when it wouldn’t
clear when I tried multiple times to do so. After my safety stop, I came up and the boat came for me. We then picked up
another guy who ran out of air, too. He was in worse shape than me when he came onto the boat as he was extremely seasick.
Poor guy. He spent the next twenty minutes (while we were waiting for everybody else) dry-heaving over the boat.
The driver of the boat looked at me and said (in a rather concerned way) “Are you okay?” I responded “Yeah” rather
enthusiastically since, despite the few problems underwater, I considered it a good day of diving since I felt so comfortable.
Then he looked down at my leg. I was gushing blood. With the combination of the water, it looked far worse than it was. My
entire leg was covered. We covered it with a bundle of cotton from the first-aid kit on the boat. When we got back to shore, the
bleeding was still coming out in full force. We replaced the cotton and then taped it. Minutes later, it was all down my leg again.
I then sat in the scuba-diving office for about an hour or so with my hand firmly pressed down on the cotton. Even after that
length of time, the blood was still pouring out. A few people suggested going to the hospital to get stitched up. This would be a
problem for a couple reasons: a) my travel health insurance card was back at my hotel room and b) I know for a fact that my
travel health insurance does not cover anything relating to scuba-diving. So if I did have to visit a Seychellois hospital, I would
have to fudge the cause of the wound (though I knew that the source of the cut was when I brushed against the ocean floor). I
was really hoping it wouldn’t come to this. The cut did not hurt at all – it was just a bit deeper than I would have liked it to
have been. In the end, we gauzed it up again and taped it up rather tightly. The blood seemed to be contained and that was
good enough for me.
There would be no more dives for me today but that wouldn’t matter to me. I would enjoy the rest of the day with my leg
propped up on a beach chair taking in the eye candy that they call ‘Seychelles’.