Viewing post #74560 by beckygardener

You are viewing a single post made by beckygardener in the thread called My Life on the Water.
Feb 24, 2010 6:09 PM CST
Name: Becky
Florida Zone 9b/10a
Glad y'all enjoyed my moray eel and spearfishing story. I love telling these stories because it makes me re-live them from that filing cabinet in the back of my brain! LOL!

Okay, here is my creepy freshwater story.

I took the beginning scuba class and enjoyed it so much that I decide to take the advanced class to up-grade my certification. The class required us to practice at one of the local lakes. We did numerous dives during the day and it wasn't anything fabulous. Mucky visibility, tall, slender freshwater grasses growing underwater, and lots of typical lake fish. Nothing exciting or exceptionally beautiful like the ocean. Kind of blah diving, so I would go down on the weekends to West Palm Beach to dive to get my real scuba fix! LOL! I live near the ocean but the visibility here is awful, so we have to travel several hours to WPB to dive in clear water.

Well, part of the advanced diver certification is to do a night dive. And mind you, my dive buddy was not my dh (he worked and couldn't take the class with me), but another fella who I paired up with from the beginning class. So we became friends, but since I didn't know him real well, I couldn't second-guess his reactions or movement other than staying up with him. He was fast underwater because he was over 6' tall. I am short 5'3". So I am asking him to not get too far ahead of me.

Now let me tell you ... in Florida ... any body of freshwater has alligators. Canals, ponds, and lakes! We all knew it! Alligators are very active at night. We'd heard rumors of an alligator being spotted out in this lake. Neither myself or my dive buddy were very thrilled about doing this night dive. No full moon either. All we each had was a waterproof flashlight which we used to find our way underwater. This dive was to test our night navigational skills using a compass. Fun, fun. NOT! We were already creeped out, but that wasn't the best part ...

In the local news, there had been an investigation into the disappearance of an elderly woman. Her son was believed to have done harm to her and the authorities believed she was probably murdered. Well, the local police/marine patrols had been sending divers out to local lakes to do a search to see if her body might have been dumped in any of them. This lake we were diving in was just a few miles from where this woman lived. It was scheduled to be searched the following day after our night dive. So of course all those in my scuba class were talking about it, further making this dive really creepy.

So out we all go with our dive buddies ... relunctantly. I am trying my best to keep up with my dive partner. I think he was in a hurry to get the dive over with and get out of the water. LOL! Me, too! We submerge underwater heading out to the middle of the lake. My partner has the compass and so he stops to show me the compass. We aren't allowed to surface. We are going through all these tall underwater grasses and seeing all kinds of stuff that has been dumped into this lake. Old furniture, old refridgerators, tires, etc. The visibility is maybe 3 feet in front of you. I HATE low visibility!!! And at night it is even worse. Night diving is a WHOLE DIFFERENT BALLGAME, let me tell you! So we are both really creeped out trying to use the compass, communicate with each other, and get back to shore without finding anything that we didn't want to find.

Let me tell you that the things running through my mind was unbelievable. I was never so scared as I was that night doing a night dive in that lake!

Fortunately, we made it back to shore without incident except for being off a short distance from our mark. No dead body weighted down in the lake or an alligator encounter. Whew! I hate freshwater diving here in Florida! Ugh!

My class was two afternoons a week. So at the next class two days later, we met once again at this lake ... during the day. As we are all pulling up in our vehicles, we all notice a wildlife truck there. We see these two men (looking rough as rednecks do) out in a small motor boat. They are coming to shore. And low and behold ... what do they have in their boat, but a 7' alligator duct taped and tied up to be removed from this lake and relocated. I about fainted! I am quite sure that alligator was in the lake two nights earlier when we were all doing our night dive. We all EARNED our advanced certification and went out to celebrate our survivial after this last class ended! LOL LOL LOL
Another Day in Paradise!

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