French kissing mrs jellyfish

It all happened here, the dive site “cathedral cave” on gozo island:

Credits: mrmaart

It was the most wonderful dive of the entire week, but it started a bit tough. This is what happened.

When arriving at the dive site we did a short briefing with Franco the dive guide. Perfect low-wind conditions, 18 degrees water and some nice spring sun shining the crack. We grabbed the dive equipment and climbed down 150 steps with the dive kit on our backs. A very tough climb but we knew it would be worth it. The dive started in a little inlet as you can see on the horizon picture. The goal was to swim through the inlet all the way to the sea from we we should start our descent.

But upon arrival at the little beach of the inlet, we noticed thousands, no maybe ten thousands (i’m not kidding!) jellyfishes waiting for us to join the bath. They were everywhere, literally. Franco said: “are you ready?” While we answered:

“Well, we are supposed to be ready, but isn’t this a bit tricky?”.

And yes, it was. But mr dive master Franco knew a trick how to avoid facial contact with the jellyfishes. Since we were covered with wetsuit all the way from feet to head (with only the face part not covered), we could easily swim on our backs through the crowd of fishes on the surface, without getting into trouble. But – and that’s what went wrong – you should know where you are swimming towards. And since the inlet wasn’t just one straight line, I managed to swim against the left side somewhere halfway of the inlet. Yes, we were already 300m out of the shore.

And that was the point of my lovely encouter with mrs jellyfish.

I bounced agains the rocks, turned around as an automatic reaction, and without even noticing my face got contact with the water. And where water is, is mrs jellyfish. BAM. A full kiss all the way. Including the tongue. She stuck her tentacles all over my face. I guess she loved kissing a lot.

The pain that came up was unbelievable. Never in my life I suffered such an amount of pain. A dislocated arm is nothing compared to this. But the point was, at that position in the middle of the inlet there was no way to solve the pain by pissing over my face, or swipe some nice medical stuff over it. We were out of the shore big time and had no choice. Either continue the dive or chicken out.

Franco and my dive buddy Joeri didn’t know what to do and came with – eventually – the best solution: get down into the cold water asap. The water was so cold, that the temperature made me distract from the pain I suffered in my face. Funny how freezing cold conditions just can kill pain somewhere else.

Credits: mrmaart

We went down and turned right. We swam along lots of rocks until we reached a huge hole in the cliff at 18m. At first you think you are going into total darkness and then you see a surface above. We did a safety stop and surfaced into a cave that was inside a giant rock. It was very dark and full of echoes. If you splashed the water in front of you it splashed with a blue light. NEON blue light. Amazing. As soon as you put your head underwater you could see the bright blue arch of the entrance.

The pain stayed with me for at least 2 weeks. But at least I can say now I french kissed mrs jellyfish at the most amazing dive spot in Gozo. I was glad I took the Horizon picture on top of the rock before we went down for the dive. You can see me smiling – not knowing what was about to happen.

written by mrmaart on 2013-07-30