I can barely carry my gear on my back.

Boulders piled down the shoreline, and the waves crashed relentlessly. We were already behind time-wise—it was dark. Pitch black. And it swallowed a weight pocket, and a mask, and we scrounged the pebbled sand blindly. Until JT gave up and left to find gear. And Pat had to barefoot-run him down when we found it.

But the black, scrambling chaos had only just began.

With 30lbs of aluminum tanks strapped to my back, I teetered over pointed rocks. My feet weighed down, deep into the jagged surfaces—where my toes curled in an attempt to grip. Palms braced the boulders with every swash of the waves. Anything to prevent slipping, and slapping, the rocks.

Finally, inched closer to the water, I lowered myself into a swash. It lifted me up, and carried me gently. Away from the rocks, and into a pool of darkness.

Heads bobbed in and out of liquid black.
Until we went down..

JT said to watch out for the Trigger fish, because they have big teeth and may charge you at night. Just use your fins to kick them away.

Also—don’t get in his way. He has a Hawaiian-sling-spear and will be catching lobsters. And then tearing their heads off. Yikes. Some people just catch and freeze lobsters humanely, then let them chill while they die.

But this trip is not as humane.
It’s ‘do not die and smash your head on a rock with 30lbs of gear on your back’.

And anyways, we’re not in a human element.
We’re in some version of the ocean—blind edition.

Darth Vader breaths and utter darkness—besides a red, light-saber glow in the distance. And various tunnels of light, strands of vision, spilling from flashlights.

It felt like space.
Weightless, in a black world.
Where millions of tiny fish swarmed my clenched fist, and the flashlight. And nibbled and bit and swarmed– like bees, but harmless bees. The little worms crawled and creeped on my skin. A few stuck, to my neck especially, and stung. One shimmied between my lip and the rubber regulator, but I clawed at my face and eventually denied access into my open, vulnerable mouth.

Charlie and I, buddies, stayed close. We were deadset on glimpses of sporadic fins, and tunnels of light, in hopes to stay together, and with the group. Visibility was maybe three feet—and the surge not strong, but present. It pulled us places before our eyes—our flashlight allowed windows of vision, in which the scenes passed quickly, too fast to process. I just surrendered to the currents and prayed that there were no rocks in front of my face, about to smash my face.

And they never did.