Open Water

Everybody knows I participate in Mama Kat’s Writer Workshop every week. This one was a hard week for me – none of the prompts jumped out at me.

One of the prompts was Your childhood neighborhood. But I (kind of) wrote about how much I loved growing up in our neighborhood here.

Another prompt was A Picture Perfect Summer. But I wrote about what summer means to my family here.

There was one about unconditional love…but I’m PMSing right now and would probably break down into uncontrollable tears and I don’t feel like doing that right now.

And there was two others left. I was holding on tight but… and Can it be saved? Write a scene (truth of fiction) about you and a soaked item. I picked a combo of these two. In this true story, I was the soaked item that was holding on tight.

August 2000: The Bahamas. Hubby (boyfriend at the time) took me to The Royal Bahamian Sandals Resort when I graduated from college.

We love to scuba dive, as I’ve mentioned before. We were diving with a group of 8 or so other divers on a reef not far from the resort. It wasn’t a deep dive; maybe 50 or so feet. But it was a very beautiful and thriving reef with lots of fish and other things to see. The dive master told us to stay around the reef, but feel free to explore. Since I don’t know how the heck to navigate underwater, I just followed hubby around. He is a very experienced diver and I thought he knew what he was doing.

About a half an hour later, we surfaced. It was like that movie Open Water…there was no boat to be seen. Seriously, that movie was the first thing I thought of. Except when I turned around, the boat was there. About a quarter of a mile or so away. Apparently we drifted with the current. I noticed all the other divers were on the boat, and everybody seemed to be looking for us. The captain spotted us, and everybody started waving wildly for us to swim to them. Why they didn’t just bring the boat to us, I still don’t know.

So hubby told me to put my regulator in my mouth (that’s where the oxygen comes from), put my mask on, and start swimming. Against the current.

Now a quarter of a mile may not sound far, but swimming in the ocean with 50+ pounds of gear on…against the tide…makes it difficult. Especially when the current is strong. But I started kicking and trying to remain calm (Open Water, even though the boat was clearly visible). I tried to hold on and not freak out. I tried not to think of how much oxygen I did or did not have left in the tank. I tried to remain calm. It didn’t work. I started to flail and suck oxygen like I was going to die. I started to show hubby how I could not handle this very minor crisis.

Hubby ended up helping me…pulling me, soaking wet, while I kicked and floated on my back. He was pretty much doing all the work. But we made it. And yes, I was mad at him for not paying attention to how far we drifted. This was not the only time I got mad at him during the trip. The other incident involved a catamaran. I’ll save that story for later.

And so it goes…

Mama's Losin' It
I wrote this post for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop in response to Prompt #2: I was holding on tight but… and Prompt #4: Can it be saved?


  1. How scary! I might have freaked....and when it's a boyfriend you certainly want them to THINK you can handle stuff!

    I'm having a hard time with the prompts this week, and I've never linked up yet! I love that you can pull one out of a hat. Or the ocean.
  2. How terrifying! Scuba Diving has always intimidated me because I feel like I'd be claustrophobic. And now I have visions of Open Water playing through my head. I don't think I'll be trying this any time soon.

    I am really intrigued by this workshop. What a unique idea!
  3. NanaDiana says:
    Oh Yeah Baby! I don't do scuba...I don't do UNDER water...I am a boat me...Boats engines mysteriosly stop when I am on them....BIG boats don't wanna know. Love the ocean-hate the water-lol Diana
  4. I would have totally freaked out, too!

    I am REALLY overly curious as to why in the hell they didn't bring the friggin BOAT to YOU! Seriously?

    I wanna hear about the catamaran. Soon?

    Much Love!
  5. Not sure where my comment went. Grrr. So, here goes again. I think that sounds terribly scary and believe it or not I can't scuba dive or snorkel, but not for lack of effort. Another phobia to work on. It's actually on my bucket list and I WILL overcome. Glad it all worked out!
  6. ohmygoodness! I have no words. how scary!
  7. Pumpkin and Piglet says:
    That must have been scary! Why on earth didn't they bring the boat to you? Quarter of a mile isn't far but like you say with all the equipment and going against the current it's a hell of a long way.
  8. blueviolet says:
    I think I would have developed a fear of the open seas after that!
  9. Stories like that are the reason I still don't know how to swim. Yikes!
  10. That movie pretty much killed any desire I had to learn to scuba dive.

    Also? I'm still appalled that she fed her husband's body to the sharks.
  11. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:
    I will not watch that movie.

    That is everything that scares me about everything.

    Did I mention that I will not be seeing that movie?

  12. OMG - I've seen many horror movies but Open Water remains one of those that send shivers down my spine every time I think of it. Maybe because it's a real story. And also because sharks scare the daylights out of me. And not to mention my fear of a large body of water. Irrational fear yes, but most phobias are like that aren't they?

    Glad you lived to tell the tale (and kick your husband's butt) though :)
  13. The current is a crazy strong thing! I have never drifted away while diving but I have friends who drifted away in the current while in Fiji...and were not found until many hours later (night had fallen). Oh--and I love your comment about not writing about unconditional love because of PMS--I had the same exact thought when considering which post to use!
  14. I watched that movie because a friend LIED TO ME, and said that they were rescued in the end. The movie ended just after midnight, and I was so angry? I called my friend and screamed at her over the phone. And she giggled and giggled and giggled.

    I hate the ocean.

    And I hated that movie.

    And your story?

    Has made me all shivery with remembered horror.

    I will never go scuba diving.

    Not ever.

  15. I think you did pretty darn amazing for someone who didn't know what to write about! Brilliant!
  16. redriverpak says:
    I USED to want to learn to Scuba Dive......Now, I think I will put that thought on the back burner for a while... :)
  17. The Hubby Diaries says:
    My hubby has been BEGGING me to learn to scuba dive so I can enjoy this hobby with him. He's an avid diver and I'm an avid sit by the pool & consume a cocktail kinda gal. Yes, I probably have an unreasonable fear of this activity but every time I read a story like yours, I want to print it and put it into the "Why I will never scuba dive" folder.

    This way when hubby asks me to learn to dive I can just hand him the folder as a reminder!
  18. I've always wanted to try scuba diving, you're inspiring me.
  19. Booyah's Momma says:
    Definitely makes me reconsider ever trying scuba diving. But the cliffhanger at the end left me dangling. I'd also like to hear about the catamaran... Open Water, the sequel?
  20. Whoa, that's legitimate freak out, if you ask me! I was scared for you, just reading this story!
  21. I would've cried if I was the one on that situation. Open Water Scares me a lot.
  22. This is why I have no desire to Scuba. On my honeymoon with Rat Bastard, he went diving without me. Clue? If only the boat would have left him. Damn.
  23. Sharlene T. says:
    Would you have behaved differently if you were married at the time? I love sailing and my husband and I did alot of it, but I did NOT go in the water... that is where the fish and man-eating anythings live... we, as warm-blooded creatures are considered the 'buffet'... that's why God invented boats... please keep this in mind on your next excursion...
  24. Belle's Butterfly says:
    I would have freaked out as well. But I don't do well under water to begin with. On our first trip to Disney in 1995 my dad, brother and I were going to do snorkeling at the water park. I couldn't do it. So I watched. The water was only 3 feet deep. I had a hard time with this weeks prompts as well. I ended up not doing one.
  25. this is exactly why when I go on vacation I just sit at the pool and read. LOL

    You poor thing, I would have been freaked out too...I don't do well with OPEN WATER at all.....
    but thank goodness your hubby was there and you were safe and sound. :)
  26. MommaKiss says:
    Water is so pretty but can be so scary. I've had nightmares about being carried away by a big wave. *shudder*
  27. MommaKiss says:
    Yo, please send your phone number so that I can call you when the nightmares start. K thanks bye.
  28. I. Would've. Freaked. Out. And why DIDN'T they bring the boat over? Didn't they see the movie??
  29. Andrea @multiplemama says:
    Man what a dive! I would have probably done the same. Only when my husband and I dove together he was always the frantic one... So maybe I would have had to drag him!
  30. Oh that would be scary. I think I would be freaking out about sharks in open water
  31. Colleen (Shibley Smiles) says:
    Yikes Open Water Yikes! Glad you made it back to tell us the story. I can't say I've been scuba diving a day in my life.
  32. What a cool graduation present! um - not including the getting you separated from the boat... ;)

    I think it is really neat that you guys scuba dive! I'll need to read some of your posts on that.
  33. Aging Mommy says:
    Oh wow! Now that must have been a scary experience and you told it so very well. Can't wait to hear about the Catamaran incident :-)
  34. Myrtle's Turtles says:
    Even though I was born on an island - that would be my worst nightmare! Loved the giant slide post!
  35. Bethany @ Organic Enchilada says:
    OK, I totally need to see that movie. And a two-fer on Writer's Workshop day? That's impressive! And pulled off very nicely! If ever I learn to swim, I'm never going scuba diving.
  36. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip says:
    Now I have even less desire than ever before to scuba dive. Though it sounds so amazing to be underwater like that, I am terrified of getting eaten by sharks or losing my oxygen. I'm glad you made it back to the boat safe and sound, if still extremely po'd, wet, and tired. xoxoxoxo
  37. Megan (Best of Fates) says:
    I would have definitely had a panic attack in that situation. Also, I've never been diving and now weirdly want to try it. No, I have no idea how your post prompted that response from me.