Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Battle with the Sea

There are two things that you know are always going to lead to a good story:

  • "So shit, there I was..."
  • "Hey, hold my beer..."
  • I like bullet points, and "things in threes" - so this is a third bullet point; although completely useless...pretty much made my day
First you must know that the tale told did happen.  The events that you are about to read are 100% based in reality; the identity of the people has not been changed...cause I'm more than happy for all of you to know about the events that nearly ended my life.  

It was a dark and stormy night, a front blowing in heavy from the North.  Damn this Belizean winter. My brother and I, heroically crossing the sea, reaching the dock.  Eric skillfully navigated through the traitorous shallows as we approached the island, our dock, and our safe haven for the night. Now - to tie up.  

Waves were crashing over the back of our tiny vessel; like the constant bat of a cat with a mouse - the ocean knew it could take us at any moment.  Unbeknownst to us it had started a series of events that nearly did just that.  Those waves had taken the back tie line off our stern, so as I grabbed the pole and reached for the bow tie the engine wrapped the line on the prop.  Stopping it dead.  

So shit...there I was.  My upper half perilously strung over the ocean, hands tightly grasping the dock line for the bow.  My lower half, knees and feet, desperately searching to find purchase on a hold. Eric straddling the engine in a mad attempt to free our prop and re-gain propulsion ability.  If I failed I knew our fate - the torrent of waves would crash us in the rock, destroying us along with our craft. The heavy swell buffeted the boat up and down.  

Then, an enormous wave, perhaps a baby tsunami, lifted the boat high in the air.  As we reached the wave's crest I found myself thankful to still be holding the rope - that thankfulness soon turned to dread.  As the boat dropped quickly I knew my fate.  Gravity no longer held me on the boat, that tiny bit of lift stole my friction...into "The Abyss" I went.  Side note - my brother hasn't seen that movie?! What is wrong with the youth today?  Sorry - into "The Abyss" I went.

The ocean had swallowed me whole, if only on a very temporary basis.  It was not long that realized my phone was in my pocket - considering my self lucky to not succumb to electrocution.  My dedication to the safety of the whole had not passed; my hands still grasped the line and now I struggled to grab the boat before it took Eric to a rocky doom.  

With one last effort the fingers on my right hand met their target; hooking into the bow clip.  I pulled the boat over and clipped the line.  I was wet, but we had docked.  We were was far from safe.  There it was - my leg was hit by a creature from the depths.  In a flash I remembered the creature we had seen just before the events that began this story - Bruce, our resident Bull shark.  

My blood was streaming into the water, from the horrific injury on my hand (sustained pulling the boat to the rope), and I knew "he" was out there - this wasn't over.  My brother had tied the stern on the dock; not realizing that prevented me from climbing to safety. He quickly untied and brought the boat out.  Allowing me to shoot up out of the water, and back onto the boat.

I was water logged, missing some skin, fingers a bit crushed, down a phone - but alive, and with a story to tell.  Poseidon let us go this night.  Though I have no doubt, we have not seen the last his antics.      

Truth time? - that basically did happen; but the shark was there a couple hours, not moments before I went in; there aren't enough rocks on the shore to sink a dinghy; the water barely comes up mid thigh in most of the places I was standing; waves were maybe at .5 meteres; winds at maybe 5-10 knots; I lost maybe a tablespoon of blood from my "gruesome" injury...

1 comment:

  1. You are so incredibly lucky to be alive. I hope this experience has taught you to treasure every moment of life, because we never know when a Bruce may be lurking . . . ;)- Fun post, I liked the detail, I could really picture it.