Storm diving in the Caribbean.

caribanimHurricane Bonnie closing in on the Caribbean in 1998. It would eventually head north along the east coast of the United States and plow into Virginia.

The Caribbean has long been a favorite target of hurricanes, which led me to ask, “What would it be like to go scuba diving during a hurricane?” This post will answer that question in depth (get it?).

Before going on such a dive, here are some tips to bear in mind.

1. Make out your Last Will and Testament.

2. Make an appointment with your local Missing Persons Bureau and fill out an application for Prospective Missing Person.

3. Undergo a physical checkup, and then make an appointment with your local garage to ensure that your arms and legs will stay on.

4. Making out numerous name tags to attach to various places on your diving suit is a good idea. That way if your leg happens to wash ashore, the locals will know it’s you.

5. Book your flight to the region while air travel is still accessible. Do not be insulted when travel agents, fellow tourists, and island residents call you “crazy”. Should anyone call you crazy, just say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

Believe it or not, vacationing in the Caribbean during a hurricane watch is the best time to go. Getting a hotel room is absolutely no problem, plus you get the swimming pool all to yourself. As I found out, you need not worry about your boat surviving the storm. The waves will carry you back to shore anyway. It’s whether or not you will wash ashore in one piece you will need to be worried about.

If you were to take underwater photos while diving during a hurricane, they would most likely turn out like this.

This first picture definitely looks like an angelfish struggling against the monstrous currents generated by the hurricane. I myself had to fight the extremely strong currents to get this picture.

angelb

Either this is coral or a man-eating shark closing in on me. I forget.

coralob

This picture is stunning proof that alligators often frequent the Caribbean reefs. Either that or it’s some more coral.

deepcoralb

The hurricane had a very strange effect on this octopus, which was rolled up like a ball and trying to knock over some coral.

grouperb

As I continued on this turbulent dive, I observed a bluish glow emanating from the ocean floor. Immediately after taking the picture, I realized I was swimming upside down. How humiliating.

jawsb

I believe I took this picture while I was fleeing from a swarm of crazed lobsters. I didn’t know they become that aggressive during a hurricane.

lobsterb

I think this is my hotel room after the storm, but I don’t remember. My second guess is that this picture is of more coral.

lonefisb

A school of panicky fish trying to flee the storm. You better spend a good minute admiring this picture because I got caught right in the middle of the school and nearly got ripped apart. I don’t go through such trouble for nothing.

oddfishb

This unfortunate fish was swimming so fast to flee the storm that it exploded.

redfishb

This interesting image shows for the first time what coral does during a hurricane. It gets rid of prickly sea urchins by actually firing them into the water. Unfortunately, this image didn’t turn out, thus ruining its credibility (and mine).

reefb

Some jellyfish helplessly caught in the current. Some of them were spinning wildly like Frisbees. Really.

triggerb

Having been thrown out of the water by a huge wave, I become the first airborne scuba diver.

viewb

After spending months of grueling physical therapy and endless psychiatric evaluations, I recovered well enough to look at the resulting pictures without undergoing extreme trauma. But my curiosity is still strong. Next summer, I am planning a scuba trip to Japan to observe what happens underwater during a tsunami.

This concludes your introduction to the art of storm diving. I hope it answered your question on what it might be like to give it a try and hopefully you found it too silly to take seriously.

poolt

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