“Okay, guys, we’re nearing the dive site. Time to get ready.”
The captain’s announcement unleashed a flurry of activity onboard the dive boat. Weight belts snapped on as the divers slid into their buoyancy jackets bearing the scuba tanks to fuel the dive ahead, myself being one of them. Even though I was already wearing a dry suit, I was nervous as this was my first time diving in the Arctic Circle. I silently joined the other divers as they secured their final preparations, knowing full well they were just minutes away from diving in some very frigid waters. Some of the divers aboard were seasoned veterans clearly looking forward to the dive while others like myself were nervous and reluctant.
The dive boat slowed down to a crawl, signaling that the dive was about to start. All the divers stood up and lined up towards the stern as one of the crew members dropped the dive platform as the boat inched ever closer to the site. My heart began racing with anticipation of leaping into that ice-cold water without giving my body time to adjust to the sudden temperature change. I kept assuring myself that I was wearing the dry suit that would continue keeping me warm but that did nothing to calm me down.
“Dive, dive, dive!” yelled the captain as the divers began jumping off the boat one by one. Some of the divers were seated along the port and starboard and simply leaned backwards to allow themselves to fall overboard.
That’s when I noticed something strange.
I didn’t hear any splashing of the water, only thuds followed by an eerie silence. And it wasn’t until it was my turn to jump did I realize what was happening.
I too made my jump into the water but only landed on solid ice instead. I looked around and saw everyone else in my dive group just lying on the ice and looking up at the sky.
“Have a nice dive!” the captain shouted.
“What dive?” I asked out loud. “What’s going on?”
“They forgot to clear the ice again,” muttered one of the nearby divers.