Diving is such an extraordinary experience.
What makes it even more magical is the fact that not everyone’s able to do it. However for John and his 22-year old son, Forrister, it was one adventure that would deepen their bond.
Theirs was an interesting tale of caution, risk and wanderlust. Here are some of the takeaways from their story, as told by John himself.
On where they went:
“I made arrangements for a seven-day excursion that would take us north to the outlying islands of Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and, finally, Richelieu Rock, the latter a rock pinnacle not far from the Myanmar border that barely breaks the surface of the water and hosts a world-famous soft-coral reef.”
On buddy systems:
“A workable buddy system still continued to elude Forrister and me. He didn’t want me to tell him what to do, nor did I want to, but safety demanded communication. His was not the petulance of a teenager but the forming confidence of a newly emerged adult, committed to doing things on his own. We worked on some navigational skills underwater — and our signals got tangled, mostly around who was supposed to do what.”
On what they discovered:
“In the profusion of color, we almost missed a pair of bright yellow tigertail seahorses with tails interlocked. The scruffy six-inch male appeared a little beleaguered, his stomach distended with some 1,500 eggs deposited earlier by the female. He’d bring them to term, then spit out a host of tiny progeny. Forrister and I learned to swim right up to the coral and peer at the teeming reef from inches away. That way I spotted an unfortunately named varicose wart slug, its black four-inch form exquisitely decorated with a Warhol-esque pattern of tiny fried eggs.”
On what it’s really like to dive with one’s son:
“Coming off a dive here was like waking from a dream, and his images — an unexpected gift — reminded us that our now-fading memories were real, and as bright and extraordinary as we recalled. Looking around I saw that the others felt, as I did, that we were extremely privileged to visit such a strange and beautiful realm. Sharing those photographs created an unusual bond among us, the kind usually shared only with a close friend.”
image source: nytimes.com