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Holy $!% They Bite!!!
dalehall - 6/30/2008 1:52 PM
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Category: Travel
Comments: 9
This past Sunday, I helped Scuba Steve with a Rescue Diver Course. When I “help,” for the most part I play the victim for the Rescue students to respond to and “save.” I act anywhere from a tired diver to a passive panicked diver to a blown-out aggressively panicked diver. It can be a lot of fun and it can put the students through the paces if it’s done right. I’m still learning the nuances of being a victim, but I’m getting a little better each time. I can also be a buddy to any student that is taking to course along when buddy teams are needed. That allows me to help teach a bit and it also keeps my skills sharpened up. Steve brought 5 new Rescue Divers into the diving world. Congrats to them all.
While helping out, I also used my new “long hose” configuration for the first time. I moved to a 7 foot primary hose, an octo bungee and a small SPG a week or so ago and this was my first chance to dive with it. Short answer: I like it. I am much more streamlined and everything feels better. We’ll see how it goes with more diving, but my initial opinion is very favorable.
Ok, so I guess you’re wondering what the title of this blog is about. The Open Water portion of the Rescue class was held at a local quarry in Macon. The quarry isn’t open to the public. It’s on privately owned church grounds. But, the church has a relationship with our LDS and they are allowed to conduct classes out there as long as waivers are signed at the store. So, we were out at the quarry and Scuba Steve is in the water briefing the Rescue guys about what is coming up in the class. He’s standing there in his shorty with the back unzipped. All of a sudden, he jumps and yells, “Get off me, punk!!” He said he had been bitten by a fish. I laughed thinking he was messing with the students before they got in the water. As I was standing there near him, I had my hands in the water and felt a nip on finger. I looked down and there was a small Bream. And, he had just bitten me!! I looked at Steve and he said they go for exposed skin. Well, I had on a full wetsuit and boots, so no big deal. I’d just have to watch my hands. When it came time to do the “circular reel search” later in the afternoon, one of the students didn’t have a buddy, so I went down with him to be his pivot man. Just after we dropped and he started his search pattern around me, I noticed I was surrounded by about 40-50 Bream. I was pretty amazed at how many there were and how close they were to me. That is, until I remembered: I wasn’t wearing a hood!!! Those of you that have met me, know I shave my head. So, here I am, down at only 15 feet, sitting on a rock so I don’t move, one hand wrapped in a search rope to guide the searcher around, a shaved head, no hood and 40 cocky-ass Bream swimming around my head. This isn’t going to be good. Then it started: The first bite hit the top of my head and then my ear. Next thing I know, I started getting bit everywhere there was skin showing. My ears, my head, my neck and my throat were all getting nipped by these little bastards. Every time I would swat them away, they would just come right back, and with a vengeance. They were like little piranhas that didn’t actually eat you. After, what seemed like an eternity, Steve sounded sub-duck, signaling the exercise was over, and I shot to the surface as safely as I could. After that dive, I pulled out the dragon hood and used it the rest of the day. Although it was too warm for a hood, it saved many more bites to my head. That was an unreal experience for me. And, as do many of my experiences, it makes for some decent reading..


Babs - 7/21/2008 4:03 PM

Great story, we have bream too and thank goodness when i did my OW it was cold, 7mm, hood and gloves no bare skin for if it was warmer I might not be a diver now if i had them bitting me during check out dives well I know better now and happy diving
scubagalhottie - 7/15/2008 11:24 PM
Yeah, the hubby and I spent a week in Hot Springs AR diving Lake Ouachita. I think those little fish think they are Piranhas. We were trying to have a romantic moment and those little buggers ran us off!! I was laughing sooo hard I almost couldn’t get back in the boat!!
scubaclay - 7/05/2008 10:20 AM

Sounds like you had a great experience, I’m glad you liked your new configuration. I use it all of the time now and love it. Bewarethe fish that thiks you dinner.

Fitzy - 7/02/2008 5:19 PM
Great story!!! Based on the title I thought I was going to read about how you bumped in to some of my old girlfriends... thank goodness that wasn’t the case. :-D
polarbear - 7/01/2008 10:46 PM
i live here in the midwest and we get the glory of having some whale tails about catfish in our surrounding bodies of water that are longer and mouths wide enough to swollow a diver. yet to see any of these monsters but we do have some pretty big ones dont get me wrong just no man eaters. but with that being said i have found that our most aggressive fish is that of tasty bluegill they do like to attack divers. when i went though my o/w class we drop down 25 feet to the platform of course me and my buddy are the first to drop down and we get attacked by two about 8 inches long. cant wait to find the [ at ] !%$ again for some pay back. polarbear
Rye - 6/30/2008 10:13 PM
Thats really funny :) recently i was diving a reef i Little Cayman when my dad caught the attention of me and my brother. we went over to see what he was up 2 when we saw his hand was being attacked by a tiny blue fish (cant remember what kind). and when we got back on the boat 3 others in our group had been attacked by the same fish! it attacked the dive masters mask! he was a very brave little fish :)
Greg - 6/30/2008 7:00 PM
That’s pretty funny. There are little fish in Lake Travis in Austin, TX that like to bite ears.
Scout - 6/30/2008 3:53 PM
This is obviously because of Global Warming. And Halliburton. The only way to deal with this problem is to reduce your carbon footprint. And stop offshore drilling. And only eat tofu.
tjdiving - 6/30/2008 3:18 PM
That was hilarious!!! (Not that I’m laughing at your expense, of course) :-)