Weekly Photo Challenge – Afloat

Afloat

Afloat

This is certainly not one of my most artistic shots, but it captures an interesting moment at the end of a dive when one is glad that the boat is afloat! Last fall, Peter and I did a 10-day scuba trip to Belize aboard the Sundancer II. As with all scuba dives, it’s important to stop for three minutes at a depth of 15 feet in order to allow the body’s tissues to release nitrogen before surfacing and getting back on the boat, and that is what you’re seeing here.

The Sundancer II is equipped with a bar that allows divers to hold on for their three minute safety stop before going to the ladder at the back of the boat (which you can see the top diver approaching). Dubbed “The Hang Bar of Awesomeness,” we had never experienced anything quite so thrilling at the end of each dive.

Why, you might ask, was it so thrilling? Well, because this boat SWINGS a lot! Single hull boats have a tendency to swing back and forth while at anchor due to the influences of wind and current – and the longer the boat, the more it swings. Our floating home was 130 feet long and she swings so fast and so far, that we would have to approach from the front and try to stay underneath the boat to get to that wonderful hang bar to do our three minute stop. If we didn’t get to the hang bar before the boat reversed direction, we’d have to wait until she came back – several minutes, and she would race away so far that we couldn’t see or hear her. We’d just have to stay put and trust that she was coming back, which of course, she always did. It was a bit disconcerting until we learned how to catch her.

Once we caught the bar, the boat would swing so fast, that we would have to hold on tightly in order not to get flung off. You can see here how the diver with the black and yellow fins is being swept away from the direction in which the boat is moving. And yes, when I took this shot, we had to wait for the Sundancer to return from a swing before we could get on that awesome hang bar. This wild ride was reenacted after every dive. At first it was intimidating, but after a few dives, we did get used to it and rather enjoyed it.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

 

26 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Afloat

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    I think that might scare me more than the scuba diving! Did it make you seasick?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      I don’t get seasick while diving, it’s more the motion of the boat that bothers me when “afloat!” 🙂 While I don’t take any prescription meds and almost never any OTC meds, I do get seasick so Bonine is my best friend on these live aboard trips. Since I found out about it, I’ve never been seasick since.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy, this week not only is the photo hypnotic, but the story is fascinating! As you know, we loved every time in Belize. The only regret I had, was that I don’t dive. It was an absolute Wonderland just snorkeling! Fabulous photo, but thanks so much for the amazing back story!

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  3. As a completely fear-filled being from the roots of my hair to the soles of my feet, I am on the same page as Carrie and Tales from the Motherland about this adventure of yours, Cathy, but it was a very enlightening read. This shot might not be a majestic landscape, but it perfectly illustrates the story. Once again you cleared the fences with your post, or in this case, maybe a better metaphor is that you made a splash. (Real glad that I didn’t get wet.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy Reese says:

    Wow, I had no idea there were so many things you had to consider for a dive, including getting back ON the boat. It’s fascinating. I’m glad your safe, Cathy. It’s a great photo and definitely works for the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lol, I’m not surprised to see you’re in the swing of things as usual, Cathy. Thanks for letting me live vicariously again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. bikerchick57 says:

    I love this photo, Cathy. You have so much courage to dive and hang onto a swinging awesome bar…I think I will stay on land, thankyewverymuch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks, Mary. Diving is so worth dealing with that swinging boat and the crew were very helpful. It also helps to have some experience with boat diving before attempting this level – I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it nearly as much were it my first dives!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lisazmfa says:

    Too scary to think about for more than a minute–*gasp* You are one brave babe!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! That’s quite an adventure..you are a thrill seeker. I’ll stick to living vicariously through your tales 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks, Audra. I guess I don’t think of diving as thrill seeking as it’s usually a pretty calm and easy sport. There was even an 80+ year-old guy on this trip who did really well. But the swinging boat did add a level of complexity to the mix. I’ve been on liveaboards that swing some, but not nearly as much as the Sundancer. The crew was really great though and they did help us navigate back on most dives.

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  10. Amy says:

    What an adventure! It takes much courage to get down to the deep water. I can imagine the excitement though. Enjoy reading the description of the underwater experience. Thank you, Cathy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks, Amy. Scuba diving is a wonderful sport and it is exciting, mainly because of all the great sea life. Then, from time-to-time, one encounters something like this swinging boat – but when we could stay calm and just go with it, it really wasn’t bad at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. quarksire says:

    right on ! …. i grew up diving , an me mind still holds awesome memories of some dives, jest as the mind holds the memories of certain flights also… kewl pic…breathe..OUT! right lol…. stay safe 🙂 & keep on keepin’ on .. Q

    Liked by 1 person

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    The photo is one thing, but the story … wow … so much to this … and I would be losing my cookies up on deck.

    Liked by 1 person

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