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Washed Ashore
Pixel - 11/30/2008 11:20 AM
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Category: Travel
Comments: 0
Today was an interesting day, filled with laughs, giggles, annoyances and pain.

We decided to take it easy today with diving. For two reasons, 1: two of our usual divers couldn’t join us today and 2: My dive buddy Shaun was bringing his friend. She hasn’t dived in a while. So after getting kit sorted out the dive shop, we make the decision to go to Long Beach in Simonstown, so that Shaun’s friend can get back into it.

All went very well, we played at the small wreck that’s there, chased some fish etc. Afterwards we head back to the dive shop to go and get some air refills and decide where we’re going next.

Next stop: Clan Stuart, also in Simonstown. It’s a 3500 ton British turrent steamer that ran aground Glencairn beach fully loaded with coal in 1914.

The sea was not so friendly on this one. Waves....lots of them, biggish ones. So we decide to first put on our fins then walk in backwards. This will be easier than first going in and then trying to put on our fins with all the waves. All’s going well, masks on, waves crashing over us. Then one wave catches Shaun’s friend and she falls over. It was very funny. She was to shallow to swim out yet with the heavy kit, she couldn’t get up. So Shaun helps her up and in we go. There was some current underwater which helped in pulling us along and around. Beautiful sea life, including shy sharks as well as many other’s that I can’t identify. Even one that looked like a zebra.

The time came for us to go back to shore.

The fun then really started. All was well heading out, until we popped up and the waves seemed a bigger and stronger. So much for easy shore dive.

Shaun, his friend and I were doing well in walking out, until one big wave came along and down I went, knocked me on my ass. As I struggled to get myself upright, another wave came and down I went again. Luckily I still had my mask on and my regulator in my hand. I popped my regulator back in my mouth and tried once agian to get myself upright. I then noticed that Shaun’s friend had also fallen over and was watching me to see what to do. The two of liteally got washed up onto the beach. But we just couldn’t get up. Shaun was battling to get out as well, though he was still upright.

In the meantime I got into a sitting positon and the next minute another wave hit me from the front and I got thrown backwards and rolled over my tank. I then felt something in my left shoulder go, "ouch". The time had come to dump my kit. As I was holding onto my kit so that it wouldn’t wash away and still getting battered by waves, I saw that Shaun’s friend had followed suit and had dumped hers as well. Luckily it was at that time that Shaun came wading back in and in a very super hero fashion picked up both our kits and hauled them out of the water. Then came back for us. He helped me up first then we went and helped his friend. We laughed about it afterwards, considering our battle took place in only about half a meter of water. The waves and current can be very strong.

I’m very glad I had the presence of mind to keep my mask on and my regulator in. I must’ve been paying more attention to my intructors and others that I thought.

I think it has to do with the one statistic that has always stuck in my mind: "You can drown in a tablespoon of water", as well as "surface or dry drowning".

"The statistics vary, but somewhere between 15-20% of individuals who drown have what is called dry drowning. This is specifically a laryngospasm in response to water just starting to be taken into the lungs. It is a natural physiological mechanism for the larynx to spasm, stopping the water from entering the lungs."

Other than a bit of a bruised ego, a battered shoulder and literally being washed ashore like ragdoll, we had fun and will definately be tackeling the Clan Stuart again.