We’re a pretty adventuresome bunch around here. We swim in the wild with sharks and stingrays. We go “iguana hunting” (AKA iguana chasing). We parasail and ocean kayak. We face off with fear on night dives. And now we can say we’ve officially paddle-boarded over the 6000 foot wall drop off of the ocean.
All those times, we’ve never needed a rescue.
Oaks has always been a little fish out in the ocean. He loves to snorkel and dive down to pick up shells and other finds. He’s always asking us to paddle out to the buoy so we can scavenge and explore. But this year, we did a little “resort course” with both boys to get them accustomed to scuba diving.
Let’s just say, that wet his appetite.
Now he wants to go deeper and further than ever. All week, he’s been begging us to paddle-board all the way out to the last buoy on the mooring line down to the base of 60 feet, just before the drop off of the wall. So yesterday we decided we’d do it together, with two boards, fins, snorkels and our big “diver down” flag float, just to be safe.
It was farther than it appeared from the shore.
But we paddled out there no problem. The wind started to pick up and the waves were bigger than we expected. It was a little difficult to get our boards secured to the line, but we finally did. Oaks and I donned our fins and masks and headed out for a little swim over the wall.
It was breathtaking.
I took pictures and some video, but I kept having to swim off to catch Oaks because there was a bit of a current and it was pulling him out. So we didn’t stay long. As we were swimming back to meet up with Scott at the line, Oaks excitedly stuck his head out of the water saying, The fin of the board just fell off! I calmly said, No, it didn’t. Meanwhile I looked that direction under the water and watched it fall to it’s 60 foot resting place. No biggie, I thought.
I can handle that board without a fin.
So we hopped back up on our boards, secured our masks and fins in the straps and let go of the line heading back to shore. Well, at least Scott and Oaks were heading back to shore. I was paddling in circles while being pulled out to sea. And it was a little scary.
But thankfully we brought both boards.
Scott and Oaks paddled over to me quickly and pulled me back to that mooring line. We attached the boards together and tried to head back, but we weren’t getting anywhere. It was clear I needed to climb on their board and tow mine behind.
It seemed like a simple idea.
But with the height of the waves, every time I tried to climb up, I knocked them both off into the water. One time that fall, completely knocked us lose from the mooring line, leaving the three of us swimming in the waves chasing after our rapidly escaping boards. My heart raced and my mama bear came out when I saw my baby crying, grasping for the board that was out of reach. I swam as hard as I could, just missing the board with every stretch of my arm.
It quickly became apparent that we were in big trouble.
What would have been a comedy of errors anywhere else on the beach, turned in to a desperate and terrifying attempt to save our lives. I did finally reach that board, after many more attempts to grab it and we all somehow got back on. But the weight of three of us on the board was proving to be too much with the waves splashing over the top. Paddling as fast as we could didn’t seem to be getting us anywhere with that giant board in tow.
We were just beyond the mooring line when we saw a jet ski heading our direction.
We were in no place for pride, we knew we needed a rescue. We frantically waved him down and he cautiously came over to us. When we asked for help he replied, “Nah, man. If I try to pull you, I might fall off. This is my first time on a jet ski.” But with a few more pleas for mercy, he reluctantly let us take hold of the jet ski and he held on to our paddle.
Over the next 10 minutes, he pulled us safely all the way back to shore.
We needed a rescue and his cruise boat day excursion turned into a full-on rescue operation for our little family.
You never know what a day might hold.
Sometimes you may need a rescue, but you have to wave your hands to ask for help. No one will know you need help if you keep trying to go it alone. Others are willing to help. You just have to ask. At the end of the day, we’re all the same.
We belong to each other.
Other times, when you’re headed out, expecting a joy ride, you may need to be someone’s rescue. Say yes. We’re all in this human experience together.
We belong to each other.
to more love,