Not what I had planned for today: bobbing up and down in the surf during a tropical rain storm off the Mexican island of Cozumel.
And wondering if my dive boat would ever find me.
Not that I was ever really worried. There were several other dive boats nearby that I could have signalled.
I had a:
thick wet suit,
air in my buoyancy compensator,
lots of dive training, including a rescue course and,
154 dives under my belt.
No biggie. I was prepared to bob up and down a while in the 82 degree water.
A rule of scuba diving is no one surfaces alone. When I needed to surface earlier than the others during a fast moving drift dive, no one followed. I assumed my boat mates would pop up nearby in a matter of minutes. Didn’t happen.
After about 15 minutes a different dive boat approached. I asked the captain to radio my boat. He offered a rope and reported that my boat would soon be on its way. The two amused male divers on the boat praised me for knowing the name of my boat and its radio channel. And for having the correct signalling equipment. Equipment I’d never used before today, but always knew I’d need one day.
My boat eventually appeared. Lots of jokes about whether I would have been eaten by sharks before making shore in Cancun.
I had a feeling this dive would prove challenging. Had a problem with a piece of equipment just before jumping in. I was able to improvise a fix, but it rattled me. The fix had nothing to do with my need to surface early.
Another life experience chalked up. The bad news: lost a $30 piece of gear while fumbling around in the surf. The good news: didn’t lose my camera or my life.
I snapped the photo of the giant parrotfish before heading to the surface.
Big thanks to the Cabalitto del Caribe dive shop captain who threw me the rope, and wore a ball cap that read Canada.