THE DIVE LOG below was recently posted on-line by an avid diver who has spent the last 18 +/- months fighting for his life. He was originally scheduled to make his second visit to Palau for a dive trip in late 2007 but was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma shortly before he was scheduled to head for Palau. Following diagnosis he underwent several rounds of radiation treatment and chemotherapy regimes, enduring months of the tough physical and emotional toll these harsh treatments wreak upon the body.
Amazingly, this diver refused to cancel his trip to Palau and instead just rescheduled it for later. In the meantime he committed himself to fighting this difficult disease with all his might and set himself a goal of returning to diving and eventually to Palau as originally planned.
With diving as his motivator for life he suffered through all of the physically and emotionally painful ups and downs that doing battle with cancer can bring. Yet not once did I ever hear him complain or give up though I’m sure he must have wanted to more than once. Instead he sent out regular upbeat reports about his doctor visitors, latest condition, next treatments, hoped for results, steps to follow, and all this framed against the backdrop of his dream to one day return to diving. DIVING GAVE HIM LIFE!
While it may seem like just another entry in any old dive log, to me it marks a milestone of success in a brave and difficult battle with a dangerous foe and demonstrates the importance of positive-mindedness in all that we do in life. It gives me hope and inspiration.
DIVE LOG: Cork, Ireland, December 2008.
“WELL, TODAY WAS THE DAY! I made my first boat dive of the year today and
boy was it good to be back. We met at Oysterhaven at around 11.15 after allowing for the icy roads and got our gear organised and onto the boat which we then launched.
First task of the day was to head over to the creek directly across from the slip and give a hand to a local fisherman and his crew to put some ropes under a yacht that sank a few weeks ago. With the good deed done it was off to Bream Rock on a nice crisp day with a flat calm sea.
We dropped into 5 metres and swam out over the kelp and gradually dropped to 10m where we met our first lobster of the day and a lot of shrimp but no sign of any conger eels. Moving on we dropped to 15 metres in between the rocks and gullies where we saw more lobster, shrimp, crab and numerous other fish and sea urchins. Brightly coloured sponges and anemones and other plant life were also in abundance.
Keeping the rock on our right we continued through the gullies dropping gradually to 19 metres and at 26 minutes started to profile up and move along in the slight current.
At 12- 14 metres it was up with the SMBs and start for the surface which we reached at 38 minutes, following our safety stop. Water temp was about 9 degrees and visibility
was quite good at over 7 metres.
It was a lovely gentle dive with lots to see and just perfect after being out of the water for so long. Back into Oysterhaven, boat out of the water, out of the dive gear and a nice cup of warming soup and a quick picnic. What a great way to spend a day and being back under water again – JUST BRILLIANT! Boy it’s great to be back!”
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I’m proud to say that the diver who made this log entry is also my eldest brother Rory. I hope and pray for his continued health and for the opportunity to welcome him back to Palau in 2009. Hats off to you Rory and Happy New Year! See you soon!
P.S. Special thanks are due to members of the Cork diving community and especially Cork Sub-Aqua Club who rallied around Rory immediately and who continue to give him the support and encouragement he needs to live. They are truly “buddies for life”. Thank you all. Dermot