Saturday, January 30, 2010
The Dangerous Deep
It has sure been a long week. We had 8-5 classes mon thru thurs. I was very bad, but we had to get ahead in immuno because our teacher had an emergency and was leaving the island for a few weeks. But as a result we only had neuro on friday. So I came in and worked on neuro in the morning before class, which was actually a lab. My lab group is awesome. All but one of us is a married-old guy and so we are all serious about using this time wisely and it was very beneficial. But as soon as lab was over it was playtime! Greg, my fishin' buddy and I got into out swim trunks and went out to hit the ocean. When we got down there the water was angry. It was throwing big ole' waves up onto the shore but we are a couple of hardy, not to mention die hard, fisher-men. We waited for about 15 minutes to find a calm enough window to get in. It wouldn't be so bad if we had a boat and we could just drive out and jump in but getting in from the sore adds a whole new dimension to it. The last thing that we really want is to get smashed up against the rocks and bang our faces to pieces. Especially since our island doesn't have a hospital and we would have to get life flighted to St. Martin. So we found a semi-calm window and got in the ocean. After we gout out in the 7 ft swells we realized that there was zero visibility. I couldn't see the tip of my spear and it was only about 3 ft from my face. We swam out to see if it would get better further from the shore. We swam out about 80 yards before we decided that it was time to turn back. Now, getting in the water is hard but, it is WAY easier then getting out. We swam up to about 20 yards from the edge. Close enough to be close to dry ground but far enough away that we wouldn't get destroyed if a monster wave came at us. I sat there bobbing for about 5 minutes watching for my chance to make a break for the shore. I wasn't too scared. I knew that I would probably get rolled up onto the rocks but I thought the sooner I get out of the water the better.(I think that Greg was a bit more nervous then I was) All I knew is that I wanted to keep my head and face from playing ping pong with the gigantor rocks. I saw what I thought was a big enough window to make my run and I was off like a shot. I was about on my feet in about 4 feet of water(with big fins on that make it impossible to walk just in time to hear Greg holler something that was indistinguishable due to the unmistakable roar of what sounded like a tidal wave bearing down on me. I reflexively reached to grab any rock I could and tried to hold on tight, but a moss covered rock is hard to handle and in an instant I was like a monkey in a barrel rolling down a mountain side. I recall noticing that my fins were up out of the water at-least once and perhaps two to three times. By the time I got my barrings and was calling up the boulders on my hands and knees wondering if i had broken anything. As far as I could tell I was still in one piece but I had to get to safe ground before the next wall of water knocked me down. As it turned out I escaped with a few cuts down my left arm, a nice scrape across my back, a grapefruit sized bruise on my left thigh, two bleeding knees and my life. I knew that it might hurt but I was happy to be able to walk out on my own power. I stood up on a rock in order as to see out a ways so that I could tell Greg when it was safe to make for the shore. He got out without too much trouble. So we had an adventurous day in the Caribbean. You never know what kind of adventure awaits in the ocean but it is best to do all you can to keep from self imposed injury. We really wanted to get out and do some fishing but we were stupid. We now know better.