Finally my spouse reached the ripe old age of fifty. I thought the day would never come, it is unsettling to be a year and a half older than your husband when the age of fifty draws nigh. Somehow my other half has a most unsettling way of looking the same as the day we married, some twenty-eight years ago. Almost like he has been preserved in bees wax at the ripe old age of twenty-one. What better place to celebrate than Amanpolo.
Unlike me, my husband doesn’t enjoy surprise parties or being the center of attention. Perhaps it is the Taurus in him~bull-headed is what I call it. He prefers the company of barracuda and sea urchins in exotic habits. I point out that a surprise bite from a barracuda is definitely more annoying than an actual party but he insists, on a journey halfway around the world.
After visiting Amanpura resort in the Turks and Caicos the previous year, we defiantly wanted to explore the other Aman resorts. The Amanpolo resort in Phillipines is just the ticket. Little did I know that our adventures across the world would lead to an unnerving underwater experience? Craig and I hold the lofty position of “Advanced Open Water Diver.” Impressive only to fellow divers, and even then not so much.
Following our first dive, the resort doctor diagnosed me with Pinguewla, or blown blood vessels in the eye. This is a reaction from excess mask pressure while scuba diving, or “mask squeeze” in dive-speak. Usually only novices make the mistake of neglecting to keep the pressure equalized in one’s mask. My propensity for ADD-like symptoms, such as easily distracted, never a good thing under water, left me with a very tight mask at ninety feet, only relieved upon ascent.
On our next dive, my 0-ring blew at forty-three feet. A 0-ring is the connecter between the hose and the air-tank, if a 0-ring is defective or worn out, it doesn’t bode well for the diver.
As I admired a school of parrotfish and a snaggle-toothed eel, I idly wondered about the bubbling noises during my silent underwater excursion. Breathing through ones regulator is usually the only sound that penetrates when under water, although once in a while the dive-master bangs on his tank to get our attention for some fishy attraction. However, this whooshing bubbling noise doesn’t’ ring a bell, it is different.
As I ponderously turned my head from side to side, my body swaying with each motion, I noticed bubbles~lots of bubbles. A flatulent flounder?
Adrenaline shot through me as I realized the air escaping from my leaking 0-ring faster than ————–. Swimming faster than the flipper-footed Olympic medalist, Michael Phelps enabled me to reach Craig in record time. I frantically made the slash motion across my throat which signals; “no air, out of air, buddy breathe, don’t leave me hanging man!”
Craig seemingly casually assesses the situation. Panic is near the surface as I make a grab for his spare regulator. I could throttle him for being so thorough in his search for the problem. My problem is lack of air! Although in reality I have at least a half a tank, the sound of precious leaking air is unnerving.
The dive-master notices Craig and I dithering about and signals for an emergency ascent. No problem, especially now that I have Craig’s spare air. We slowly, surreally ascend in a tight safe circle, arm in arm. .
Once on the surface, the dive-master apologizes profusely, and compliments me on my ability to remain calm. I distinctly don’t remember feeling zen-like but am hesitant to disillusion him.