I’ve talked before a few times about how lucky I’ve been here, and how expat life here is like a roller coaster with some pretty big ups sometimes. Well, lady luck has been visiting me again…and this time underwater!
In the past month, several times I was not supposed to have been on certain dives… I pestered my co-worker to switch, or got on a different boat because my student asked to switch, etc. And holy crap, have I ever been rewarded!
First… a pod of 30 wild dolphins showed up while I was on a safety stop at the end of my dive. This is a really rare thing to have happen here. They were playing and jumping and there were two babies. BABY DOLPHINS GUYS!! I have never been so excited!! I took off at lightning speed and swam with them for the best 25 seconds of my whole life.
So, that was amazing and blew my mind, and I thanked my lucky stars that I got to experience that. Awesome. And then…….
The very next week I had a bunch of divemaster interns and a new student on a dive and as we dropped onto the wall a frickin 8ft scalloped hammerhead shark just casually cruised by us. WHAT. THE. HELL. Again, this does not happen here. Most people never see a hammerhead here, some with years and years diving on Roatan. There are special dives you can go on at 5am to try and see them but they’re usually down around 200ft (way past recreational diving limits) and there’s no guarantee of a sighting. But this dude just swam right beside us on his merry way. We were all screaming (with excitement) and high fiving each other. It was such a cool once-in-a-lifetime experience (cough, cough…foreshadowing).
|again, not my photo (source)|
Did you notice the captions? Not my photos? Yeah, cause I don’t have an underwater camera. They’re really expensive and not affordable at all on my dive instructor salary. But then I saw all this cool shit, and my friends/dive instructors from other shops were all razzing me, and giving me the “pics or it didn’t happen” crap.
So you know what happened next?
I found a fucking GoPro Hero 3 on my dive the very next day. Yup.
|not my photo 🙂 (source)|
It was just sitting in some coral at about 20ft. It was on one of those stupid head mount things (do you guys even understand how often those fall off of divers??) and I didn’t know what it was until I picked it up and turned it over. Score!!! (Side note: I did take it home and turn it on to see if I could identify anyone in the videos/photos and I probably would have tried to return it since that’s the right thing to do….but there was only a few photos of the reef on it….so … finders keepers!)
So WOOHOO right? Dolphins, hammerhead, GoPro!! But now everyone at the dive shop is telling the guests how lucky I am and that I see all this super rare stuff, so the pressure is on! Every dive people are asking me to find this stuff for them, and they don’t seem to understand that seeing a scalloped hammerhead shark up close on the reef is really rare, and you’re lucky if it even happens to you once.
Then I took out some students who were playfully bugging me about the hammerhead and wanting to see one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I was lucky and we’re not gonna see one guys. So we’re on our safety stop at 15ft over a sand patch, and guess what happens?
|still not my photo…because i was teaching i didn’t take my ‘new’ gopro on the dive! (source)|
I think my students just about shit themselves. I literally could not believe my eyes. I don’t think it was the same hammerhead either…this one was about 6-7ft. She swam about 15 feet away from us through the sand patch and over the reef. So amazing to see up close!!
I have been informed by my co-worker and all the other dive instructors in town that if I see anything else crazy I am to keep my mouth shut about it because they are all jealous 🙂
I have been a VERY happy diver lately!
|this one actually is my photo… thank you sarah!!|
Hopefully my lucky streak continues underwater… experiences like that make me so grateful that I play in the sea for a living and get to see these incredible creatures. I hope to have more to show you guys soon (using my GoPro!!) Lady Luck is being good to me above the waves too, but that is for an upcoming post. I’ll leave you with a video I found today that embodies my feelings on all things in the ocean perfectly. It’s really worth the 5 minutes to watch. Happy diving!