The descent below the surface is what sticks with me. As my eyes transition from sky to blue water my breath catches as my face sinks below the surface. I take my first breath as I look down at the bottom 60 feet below. It is as if I have walked into a pitch black room unsure of its size only to realize when the lights click on that it is far larger than I expected and filled with unexpected things.
Far below me lies a ship, partly on its side surrounded by a sand bottom with a reef in the distance just beyond the stern. I remember as a kid having dreams in which I would float above the characters in the dream swaying gently much like a kite or helium filled balloon tethered in a breeze. This feeling is much the same.
I watch as Bryce and Colin descend below the surface for the first time. Within a minute you can see the joy coursing through each of them as they delight in this new three dimensional world. Bryce is spinning around while Colin has his hands out like Superman gliding through the sky. Their instructor, GiGi, signals them slowly to the bottom, reminding them to clear their ears by gently blowing against a pinched nose every few feet.
Aleix and I hover above them like thought bubbles hovering over characters in a cartoon. Every few minutes one or the other of the boys looks up and around, finds us, and gives us the “OK” sign.
GiGi taps gently on her airtank with her knife sending a loud sound rippling through the water and grabbing everyone’s attention. She signals the boys to sit on their knees and they begin “class” 45 feet under the water. The boys run through skills including clearing a flooded mask and most importantly sharing each other’s air should one of them run out. Later they will practice emergency ascents to the surface.
Once class is over we head as a group towards the ship. We fly above the ship, with the deck just inches below us. Small fish squirt out of the openings.
Swimming around the wreck the boys’ excitement is matched by ours. It is like being in a movie, either James Bond (the next day we dove on the wrecks used in Thunderball in 1965) or maybe the Discovery Channel.
When we pop to the surface, the boys are chattering almost before their regulators are out of their mouths.
A fantastic day.