Monday, May 5, 2008

Diver ESP

Everyone has one - a story about how you just got a little "feeling" that you should or shouldn't do something.  I am a big fan of listening to my intuition.  My story involves Miami, Florida in March 2007.  I flew to Miami, and we were booked to go on a dive - the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove - in the Keys.  I went to dinner at a wonderful seafood restaurant the night before, and it was great - until I started throwing up in the middle of the night.  I didn't get much rest, and I woke up with a bad feeling (besides just throwing up).  I had a really terrible sense of doom, but I wanted to do this dive.  After all, I had traveled all this way and I wasn't going to get another chance during that trip.  
If you've ever been to the Speigel Grove, you know that it's a huge war ship, and portions of it are in over 120 feet of water.  I've done deep dives, but I'm a little more psychologically comfortable at 80 feet max.  However, I had seen magnificent photos of the ship, and I couldn't wait to take my own so I was willing to - ahem - take the plunge.  (Did I just say that?)
Anyway,  I went to the dive shop.  The weather was awful - gray, gloomy, rainy.  But, again, I had traveled so far, and rain doesn't really affect diving once you're under.  Plus, the boat was taking divers.  If the boat goes, why shouldn't I?  Again, terrible sense of doom.  That plus the bad seafood the night before plus the terrible weather made me do something I had never done before - cancel a dive.  The shop was kind enough to refund my money.  I moped around the rest of the day, wondering if I had made the right call.  The next day, I picked up my newspaper outside my hotel room and discovered that three divers died on the Speigel Grove on the dive I was scheduled to do at the time I was scheduled to do it.  They had apparently penetrated the wreck without tying a line, bringing extra air canisters, or having a guide.  One of them made it back, but three of them got lost inside the ship.  They had to send down an extraction team the following day.  It was awful.  I don't know if I would have penetrated the wreck or not because I tend to be a pretty cautious diver.  However, these guys were experienced and certified - probably more experienced than me.  I'm really sorry for those divers and their families.  
The reason I bring it up is because I think it's really critical to listen to your intuition with SCUBA.  It's also critical to respect your buddy's feelings about a dive, too, and to never pressure your buddy.  Do you have any stories of DIVER ESP?
Hugs and Fishes,
Jenny Mo


Dr. Nicole said...

I always trust my intuition! Except this one time I was out snorkeling with my boyfriend in Hawaii and he was suddenly missing. I panicked and swam around looking for him for ten minutes and then I swam in to shore to go call 911 and he was sitting on the beach drinking a beer. Man I was furious!!!

But, I guess it is better to error on the side of caution.

Daisy said...

Went to Florida (the springs and caverns). Drove 17 hours. Then another 2 from the hotel to the dive site. when I got to the one particular site (Paradise Springs) I wouldn't go to the bottom. (a long dark tunnel full of silt - 120'?) Lots of driving, but still no regrets. Thank goodness my dive buddy is really that, a buddy :) (also my hubby) He never asked or said a word, just understood. And while nothing bad happened to the other divers, it just wasn't something I wanted to do.