It was a weekend from hell. It started well. I met a group of divers whom I knew and was welcomed to dive with them. After the second dive I came out of the water to find my dive bag gone. My work card, driver’s license, car keys, batteries, cell phones including my iPhone, and underwater flashlights were all gone with the bag. Another diver in our group lost a bag with his clothes. The disaster was the work card and car keys. We had set up our gear next to another dive group. They overlapped our dives and when we came out this group was long gone. No one had paid particular attention to them and we did not know any of their group’s names.
An intense hour of investigation got us the name of the dive instructor and the name of one of the group. We began to make calls. Of course we called my cellphone to see who might answer. And no, I did not have my iPhone finder app and location was off to preserve the battery. We got hold of the instructor. His phone was initially off. He did not find any bags. We urged him to call his group of students. He did so but it sounded reluctant. About five hours later and with three handoffs and plausible deniability I finally received my bag. I was told no one had opened it. But it was obvious that the zippers had all been resealed inside. And my bag with all the salt stains was now clean again.
All my stuff was present and accounted. Horray! We simply made lemonade out of the lemons and went ahead and did a night dive. In another post you will see a cuttlefish from that dive.
My woe was not over. My camera immediately malfunctioned at the start of the night dive. The flash would not fire. In the dark ocean water this is a serious handicap. I switched over to ambient light of the flashlights we were using. White balanced and my camera was not too bad although exposure and shutter speed bedeviled me. I got some decent shots. When I got home I discovered the cause was related to a water leak in the camera housing. The next morning the flash functioned flawlessly.
That day I took the camera into the water again and it is still leaking. It leaked only a few tiny drops but it is definitely not watertight. I have resealed the O rings with the hope that this will work.
Having been thoroughly rattled about losing my bag and ID, I was not quite right in my head when I packed to leave after the night dive. I was packing up next to a couple of instructors – husband and wife – whom I knew. In the confusion I did not pack my regulator. That would be the yellow hose equipment in the picture. It was either in the dive shop or with this couple. The next day the dive shop did not have my regulator set aside. They had about 200 regulators hanging up and each one looks pretty much the same as the other. No dice, not there, and then I figured my friends had it.
But if it was with other rental gear then I worried they would return their students’ stuff without noticing my gear. I did not have a phone number. The instructor was a friend to one of my patient’s father, another diver. It’s a small world. Unfortunately the father was in Jordan. More calls went back and forth and I was about to give up seeing my gear again. Then, out of the blue, I received a call from my clinic nurse. Bless her, she was protecting me from being bothered. She told me someone had arrived to speak to me. It was Khalid, my friend, who inquired whether I would like to have my regulator back. Oh joy! He had found it among his gear and deduced we had mixed our stuff. He kindly brought it to the hospital and I am reunited with my gear again.
Now to find out if my camera housing is repaired and will not leak. Cross fingers and keep thinking positive thoughts. So far so good. As bad as it all went, I am essentially back where I began. It was as I would say making some easy dives the hard way. Oh! I did see some pretty nice fish when I was able to dive.