South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 13

Sodwana bay

Tuesday 25th March

Today was not a good day. It started off just fine with our refresher SCUBA course lasting an hour and a half in one of the small swimming pools they have here. We were scheduled to go out on the noon boat for a fifty-minute bottom time dive. In the back of my mind all morning was the thoroughly miserable experience I had on the first day of diving in Pompano Beach, Florida last year. I was violently ill and vomited several times with extreme seasickness and nausea. Our breakfast this morning was late due to the refresher course and it was also served late even after we had ordered it. Consequently, we ate just about an hour before the actual dive. The trip out to the dive location was around ten minutes and everything was fine – up until when the boat stopped at its destination and we all started to get our dive gear on. After just about a minute of rocking back and forth on the small boat, the nausea kicked in, followed quickly by violent vomiting by both Sandy and me. Bye-bye breakfast – and probably several other previous meals also. After we could vomit no more, we finally made it into the water and all was calm and serene. The reef itself was much the same as that which we had dived at Pompano Beach but perhaps a little less marine life. From that perspective, the dive was a little disappointing given that this is South Africa’s most premier dive location. Still, we both managed about forty minutes of bottom time before our air supply dipped below the fifty bar threshold and we both surfaced – ten minutes before everyone else, I might add. As soon as I got to the surface and grabbed hold of the side of the boat, I started vomiting again right there in the water. The captain wasn’t keen on letting me back in the boat until he was sure that I was not going to make a mess on his deck. I get very panicky when I’m sick and being submerged up to my neck in seawater with waves crashing over my head and somewhat constricted by SCUBA diving gear certainly did nothing to help the situation. Finally being back in the boat didn’t improve the situation and neither did waiting around in the turbulent chop for the other divers to surface either. Even after returning to the beach, and on firm ground, I still felt ill for most of the remainder of the day. We were both so very ill that we were contemplating forgoing any further diving not only for here at Sodwana Bay but also for the entire trip. I was even giving thought to selling our two dive computers as well as my snorkel and mask so as to make for more room and less weight in our backpacks. Sandy spoke with one of the front desk staff and was told about some seasickness tablets that are supposed to be very good. After mulling things over for a few hours, we decided to procure some and to try again tomorrow. We are now booked in for the noon dive again tomorrow so we will see if the tablets work. We’ve both taken two each tonight and will take another tomorrow morning as well as another just before the dive. I sincerely hope they work because I ‘never’ want to feel that ill again.

We showed our photo collection to some more people today and yet more people have urged us to contact the 50-50 program on the ABC television channel. Everyone we meet seem to think that these photos will win the yearly grand prize of a Jeep. I’m very tempted.