Friday, July 24, 2009

Dinner and a show, and a rescue operation!

Last evening started out pretty great, actually. We had my friend Michelle over for a lovely dinner of crab bisque and wine. She was our first non-family visitor and since she lives part-time in a trailer she wasn't overwhelmed by our "crazy" living arrangement. All was well until Trent threw his partially chewed hunk of bread straight into Michelle's bowl! Then Katreina spilled her entire glass of milk, splashing our guest. She was a sweetheart though and didn't seem to mind our kids making a complete mess.

After she left, Frank headed out to retrieve our crab pot for the night while I set to prepping the anchor rode to get re-spliced. Frank returned without any keepers. While he was unloading stuff from the dinghy I heard the "plunk" sound of something falling in the water. I looked at Frank, who was staring at the water.

"What was that?" I asked.

"The GPS," he said more calmly than one would expect. "The GPS" just happens to be a Garmin 60csx, which is pricey in my book.

"THE GPS!!!" I jumped up, ran onto the boat, stripped down, donned a pair of Frank's shorts and a sports bra and ran back up to the dock. I was ready to go in for it! We checked and the water was 18ft deep. Doable. But as we discussed the brilliance of my plan the sun sank lower and lower in the sky. Suddenly, I chickened out. Without even being in the water I was almost feeling claustrophobic.

Now it was Frank's turn. He ran to the Naval Station to grab some dive gear essentials out of our storage unit there--wetsuit, fins, mask, and a flashlight. Oh wait--he forgot the freakin' mask!!! So he put everything else on then donned our daughter's pink & purple swim goggles. I knelt on the dock shining a flashlight straight down at the spot the GPS was dropped while Frank hopped in. It was cold, he said, but not deathly so. We figured it should take no more than 3 swift kicks with dive fins on to get to the bottom. After a couple of deep breaths, he was off! No, wait--he was flopping frantically on the surface, splashing gallons of water onto his wife! He paused a second, then did a strong kick that sent him straight towards the dinghy!

"What happened?" he said when he came up for air. After sharing my version of the story with him, he informed me that he did 3 strong kicks (which I noted by the volume of water soaking my clothes) and didn't feel like he had gone anywhere so he paused then kicked again. I kindly informed him that his fins had barely been below the water and therefore hadn't pushed him down at all. That's when I think it hit both of us. We weren't afraid of being in the water at night. We were both experienced at night diving (with sharks) and hadn't had any anxiety. Our issue here was the lack of an air source. The GPS was dropped within a tiny window of water between our dock, our boat, and our dinghy. If we hit one of those on the way back up, we would be fighting to get out all while our lungs were burning for more air. We decided to call off the mission for the night. I wasn't about to lose Frank for a GPS.

Things were settled down after 10pm. We did a little research and found out that our GPS was rated "Waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes." Waterproof? Sounds more like water-resistant to me! May still try to rescue it sometime during daylight.

At the end of the day, we got a damn good laugh out of this one. I realized I'd like to find room for a mask/fins onboard and would like to purchase a pony bottle. This way if we ever actually have to do something under the boat in an emergency we can do it without the major air issues. $240 for a little piece of mind? Sure, I'd buy that.

So let's see...what all have we sacrificed to King Neptune?
Spanner wrench (Jody)--$17
Crab pot/line/bouy/bait bags (Frank)--$180
Garmin 60csx (Frank)--$350

Living on a boat? PRICELESS!

1 comment:

  1. time try this.
    1. For light...turn a fishbowl or large transparent mixing bowl upside down and duct tape a small mag light/flash light to the inside. The fishbowl works better!
    2. For air, the garden hose trick doesn't work after the first atmosphere, it's too 18' is too far for a garden hose...however, USN training should have taught you that dungaree material when wet is air tight. Find your husbands fat boy jeans...tie knots in the legs and when you first go down hold the jeans bottom up, trap air...grip the waist tight like a laundry bag. If one pair of pants won't give you enough air...have mom get 5 or 6 pair ready on the end of lines!
    3. Wrap ace bandages down around your chin with the bowl upside down on your head . Don't forget a thick, soft winter bowls are hard and get uncomfortable quick!
    4. Add weight appropriately knotted to a belt loop...a wrench, bottle of salsa..whatevah!...
    5. Get a camera....its going to be funny.