Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This past July I took my annual trip down to the Turks & Caicos to dive with Club Med. On this trip I was to complete my 300th logged dive. That should have made it special enough (I like to celebrate milestones). On the day of my 300th dive my buddy had arranged for everyone to swim up to me under water and hand me a little rubber duck. I didn’t catch on to this until the 4th duck was handed to me during our safety stop. Along with the ducks, the Club Med Scuba team made me a cake, literally. I was covered in eggs, cocoa powder and flour upon arriving back at the dock. After a few not very attractive photographs & a shower, I was looking forward to my 301st dive.

The most memorable of my 9 days of diving this trip however occurred on dive 310 at a dive site called Grouper Hole. This was my last dive of the trip, a shallow second dive of the morning. I always get a bit nostalgic on my last dive of each vacation and look for something really special to remember while waiting for my next dive vacation. I was thinking to myself that I’d really like to see one more turtle on this trip. Moments later I looked at my dive buddy who was giving me the hand signal for turtle. I couldn’t believe it… I wished for a turtle and like magic, one appeared. And then he proceeded to swim with me, side by side, allowing me to photograph and video him up close for a quite some time until he seemed to get stuck between two pieces of coral. He just stayed still stuck and not moving until Alain, my buddy lifted his front flipper, allowing the turtle to swim free and head toward the surface for a breath of air.

It was one of those magical encounters that can make even a skeptic believe in a greater force at work. I don’t know whether it was the power & energy of my thoughts that brought the turtle to me or just a coincidence, but, I’d prefer to believe that on some level the turtle and I connected and he came to make my last dive of the trip into a special memory.