I had to face one of my demons years ago when I was working as a dive instructor in the Yucatan
. Although I was working for a resort in Playa del Carmen at the time, I had a chance to fill in for another instructor for a day over in Cozumel. Drift diving. I had always towed a dive flag when leading a drift dive, but this new company told me not to worry, that the skipper
would just follow our bubbles.
To make a long story short, when we surfaced we discovered that the chase boat had lost
us. We were being swept out the Cozumel channel toward Cuba
, which was 90 miles away. No chance of swimming back to the island.
After drifting on the surface 30 minutes, I had everyone ditch their weight belts and tanks
so that we would ride up higher out of the water to be more visible. Ten minutes later, a sportsfisherman motored by a few hundred meters away, and we all blasted away on our whistles. He heard us before he saw us.
It turned out that he was actually looking for us after having heard the mayday from our dive boat. If you're ever wondering why I never have anything bad to say about stinkpotters, now you know: I've been rescued by one.