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Out of the Blue 2
By George Miller
Depending on how you look at it, I am either the luckiest slob on earth, or the unluckiest. Probably if I was reading this, I’d want to know just what the hell that means, so I’ll explain it. I have been diving now for some 26 years, and I’ve had some of the trippinest, most exciting dives of anyone I know. That’s the lucky part. The other lucky part is that I’m still alive to tell about ‘em. Unlucky is because of how close some of them got me to meetin’ the sea gods’ face – to – face.
Take my first – ever ocean dive. It was, although not by coincidence, on my 30th birthday. You see, my old man had learned to dive a few months before, and he had this bright flash that Scuba lessons for my birthday might help me out of my post – divorce depression. Somehow he’d arranged it so I’d checkout on my birthday.
The weird part about the story is the odds of all of this actually happening. First of all, how many divers, in their entire diving careers, much less on their Openwater checkout dive, ever even encounter a shark? And second of all, how many even encounter one while holding its intended lunch out in front of him?
Yes, you heard me right, there I was, holding and toying with a small spiny lobster, one eye on my instructor (for some guidance at this point), and the other into the beady, little eyes of an eight foot Nurse Shark.
Now any of you who know anything about Nurses know that they’re usually too darn lazy to confront a Homo sapien, but this one’s stomach must have overcome the laziness thing. Nonetheless, there was something about his look that was definitely non- – threatening. He just wanted my kill (apparently he did not know that the bug wasn’t legal and therefore of no interest to me).
After listening to the sound of my own respiration for what seemed like about 700-lbs. worth. I finally made a command decision and gently placed the little creature in the sand, and slowly backed away from it, barely moving as both it and the Nurse took off to my right (away from my fellow divers) and continued on to close another link in the food chain.
Did I learn anything from this? You bet I did. As a student, I learned
to stick with my dive instructor and not go pickin’ up stuff unless I give
some sort of a signal that I’m going to before hand. I learned that even
gentle creatures can get ticked off it it’s lunchtime and you’re holdin
the Big Mac, and I further learned that some Sharks don’t even know
what a lobster gauge is.
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