On the morning of my sister’s grad (and the first day I wasn’t working from Oahu) we decided to go diving. Oahu isn’t really know for its diving, but there are a few cool places to go, and one of them is the YO-257, a shipwreck straight out from Waikiki Beach about a mile (? I think? I’m really terrible at judging distances).
I went with my sister and brother, who are both certified, even though he had only gotten fully certified the day before. I was really nervous, because even though I’ve been diving so many times before, this was going to be the first time since the incident in Coron, and it was also a wreck dive.
Also, it was very deep, more than 100FT, so no easing back in with some nice shallow reef dives. Go big or go home. Or, go big or have a panic attack and die. It’s definitely one or the other.
The day didn’t start out so well, my dad was sick so he didn’t come with us, and then we got to the boat, and our captain was sick. Like puking off the side of the boat. He said he had food poisoning, but it looked a little bit more like JD poisoning.
We got out to the dive site, and there were two other boats there already. The current was really strong that day, so in order to dive the wreck we needed to anchor to one of the ropes, and follow a lead down to the boat. Since there were already two boats there, we ended up having to sit for almost an hour before we could go in.
During this time, it started storming. The waves were pretty big, and it was absolutely pouring. We had to sit in the boat with our goggles on to keep the rain out of our eyes. It was pretty funny, but as our captain said “anything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong today”.
Eventually we got in, and started heading down to the wreck. We saw a turtle right away, so I tried to take that as a good sign, even though I was still pretty nervous. We weren’t going in the wreck, just around it, so I was feeling OK about things, but our guide kept stopping our group (5 in total) to take pictures. I’m fine underwater, but I have to keep moving, if I sit still too long I start to feel claustrophobic and panicky.
And since I was closest to him, he would stop me first, put me where he wanted the group, and then round everyone else for the pictures while I sat there. I have never had that happen on a dive before, usually you take your own camera to take pictures of what you see, and maybe you get someone to take one or two pictures of you, if there is something really cool you want a picture with.
The pictures we got were pretty cool, but still I didn’t like stopping so much. The other thing that wasn’t helping was that there is a commercial submarine that leaves from the Honolulu Harbour that takes big groups of people underwater to look at the wrecks. Our guide told us to watch out for it, and told us the driver would hit us and wouldn’t care, but we didn’t realize how close it would get.
We were swimming along right on the bottom, and all of a sudden our guide started gesturing and making loud noises towards my brother. We turned around to look, and the submarine was less than 10 feet away, headed straight for him, so we had to hang out on the bottom until it passed. It was an electric submarine so it made the most horrifying, ominous whirring noise, which isn’t helpful when you are already feeling unsettled.
Anyways, the wreck itself was pretty cool, there were actually two different ships down there, and we all came out unscathed. I think I would have been scared of any dive just because of what had happened on my last dive, so I’m glad I got it out of the way. Get back on the horse, or something like that.
We ended up skipping our second dive because we had to wait so long to go in for our first one that we would have missed grad if we’d done another, which was kind of the whole reason we were there, so that probably would have been frowned upon by our parents.