Diving Through a Cloud of Plankton
The day began with nothing but sunshine and rainbows. The great thing about doing skills in the pool is no matter what it looks like on the surface, its gonna be calm. The same cannot be said when you take the plunge into raw Pacific Ocean. When a south swell is coupled with high winds, Maunalua Bay is not the best place for a boat full of new divers. However, our captain was confident that we could get out to the sites, visibility and surge was going to be the limiting factor to do a safe dive.
The boat begins slowing down as we approach our Mooring Ball at Koko Craters. the waves are bouncing us but, we stay steady on course. 30 feet! the boat feels every wave pass underneath. 20 feet! Regulator is placed into the mouth. Fins hang over the edge as I hold onto the side getting ready to giant stride. 10 Feet! Last checks are done. All the air is deflated out of my BCD as I get ready to do a negative entry. Dive! Dive! Dive! I jump into the water with my hand on my regulator and mask. As my head crosses the threshold and my body is fully submerged, I look around to see a cloud getting denser and denser as I sink to the bottom. My fins hit the sand, before I was able to see it. I put my left hand on the deflate button of my low pressure inflator and start slowly kicking myself to the surface. When I get to the surface, a boat full of 20 people are all anxiously awaiting my response. Both of my arms go over my head making an X formation. Calling It!!
The reason we have to make these calls is to save lives. We as instructors may be able to complete these dives. However, when there is a boat full of new divers, the chance of someone getting lost is too risky. We always have to understand that as divers, we are at the whim of the oceans. This is not our natural environment. Human beings are meant to walk on land and breathe earth's atmosphere. Instead, we want to go underwater and breathe compressed air. Its amazing, and I'll never stop doing it. However on some days, it's better to just call it and stay dry then risk lives.
Give it a few days and the water will calm down. we'll get back to researching. Back to investigating. and most importantly, back to educating.
Educate, Protect, Preserve