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  • Writer's pictureKim Hanlon

Dirty Diver's Anecdotes

So quarantines are widespread. COVID-19 is causing hysteria and arguments on social media. Here in the Cayman Islands we are all under lockdown with some time on our hands. So why not share a few funny stories? There’s nothing that makes a surface interval go faster than a good regaling of diver’s anecdotes, so we’ve asked the staff and put together a compilation of our favorites for you to borrow in times of strife. These are all true stories, as witnessed by our staff members. Sure some of them are borderline inappropriate, while others are wildly offensive. If you are offended easily, we’d strongly encourage you to stop reading now. If you have a good sense of humor and a strong stomach, we present to you our favorite Dirty Diver Anecdotes. 

Poo stories

"Once when I was in training in slightly colder water and 5mm suits were required, the dive leader started acting rather erratically, speeding up and making abrupt turns and disappearing around corners and behind coral bommies. I was at the back with a couple of customers in front, all of us completely oblivious to the fact that they were trying to lose us to remove their wetsuit for an aqua turd. It later transpired that they had given up trying and had let a full release into the suit. I’m sure it was a long boat trip back to land sitting in a dirty neoprene nappy." 

"Just after arriving to our first dive site, one customer headed down to the v-berth where he thought the head was located. Our dive boat didn't have a head. He emerged several minutes later looking very sheepish with a quadruple tied trash-bagged gift. No words were spoken, but we all knew what was inside. Everyone, that is, except a new colleague who was full of that newly-employed person spunk and was waiting back at the dive shop to unload the gear from the truck. As she swung the gift pack happily behind her head and over her shoulder, I did briefly consider shouting a warning in a moment of horror, but the inner demon in me took over and I let her carry on with her duties and whistle while she worked."

"On one of my first days of work in my new job, I was enjoying being back in the crystal clear, warm, glorious water. When all the guests had surfaced, I decided to take off my mask and fully enjoy my ascent back to the surface. What I was greeted with was not what I was expecting, but a look of sheer horror off of one of my co-workers. I was confused, but quickly learned that one of our guests was caught short, and with no head on board and thinking everyone was out of the water, decided to cannonball in over my head, pull her undergarments gingerly aside, and proceed to have explosive diarrhea. All over my head. And my face. And probably caught in my eyelashes and nostril hairs, which I’m sure in turn shortly transported into my mouth and bloodstream. I had a couple of showers that evening to remove all remnants of poo particles from my tainted locks. And a few whiskies to help with the trauma. Rule number 1 of surface aqua pooping - Always check for bubbles!"

"I don’t know what it is about public restrooms, but it seems like every 5th person that goes into one, has diarrhea on the walls whilst breakdancing. As the new guy to Divetech, I was directed to clean up one such mess at Lighthouse Point. Gloved-up, with a scrub brush and bucket of bleach, I was gagging profusely when one of my co-workers stuck his head around the door. 'They don’t show you this in the PADI Pro marketing video, do they?' he asked me rhetorically."

"I worked with a Cuban dive instructor named Jorge. Jorge escaped Cuba with just the clothes on his back in the early 1990’s. He arrived with nothing, so he took great pride in each piece of scuba gear he was able to buy. After many years, Jorge was able to purchase a new wetsuit, which he treasured. About 3 months later, one of Jorge’s good friends, Raphael visited him and they dived together. As a kind friend, Jorge loaned his prized wetsuit to Raphael. Upon surfacing, Jorge asked his buddy, 'How was your dive?' Raphael replied, 'Man I shit myself.' Thinking this was an expression of surprise from something he had seen underwater, Jorge asked, 'Why, what did you see?' Raphael replied, 'No, I shit myself,' pulling aside the neck seal to reveal brown streaks. 'Keep the wetsuit,' Jorge told him."  

"I had just finished giving a dive briefing and people were beginning to splash off the stern when I noticed someone out the corner of my eye fall into the water over the side. I went to check it out and as I peeked over the gunwale I could see a diver, not in distress but instead surrounded by a little flock of brown floaters. Straight away I realised what was going on so gave the guy some privacy and made myself busy by heading to the back of the boat where the rest of the guests were jumping into the water. Guess who met me at the stern when I got there? A few of the little brown floaters! The guy was dumping upstream so his turds were floating downstream to where the other divers were splashing into the water happily oblivious of the fact that there was crap everywhere."

Had enough poop for one article? Fair enough, we’ll move on to some tamer topics...

Pee stories

"I took my cave diving class in North Florida, during the summer of 2008. I had practiced diving a drysuit the entire winter, and had probably put 80 or so dives on it preparing. But the first day of class was also my first time using a pee valve and a condom catheter. As I discovered, there’s a bit of a learning curve to it. It's actually quite exciting to pee in a drysuit the first time, provided all the plumbing is functioning correctly. My initial feeling of elation lasted less than 3 seconds, when kink in the tube caused the condom catheter to blow right off. That's what I get for trying to impress my dive buddies by buying the large size condoms. Now imagine having this failure just before you need to perform a no-mask, lost line drill. At one point while trying to stay off the cave floor, I found myself inverted and could feel tinkle trickling across my chest and around my neck. I’d love to say my failures were limited to these 2 incidents, but they weren’t. Every night after class, I could be found at the High Springs Coin Laundry, washing pee out of my undergarments. And every night I cried myself to sleep smelling of urine. By the end of the week I was a broken man, whose fingerprints were worn clean off, and no one would come within 9 feet of me. Thanks Jill Heinerth, for the fond memories." 

"One of my dive instructors used to dive a drysuit year-round, in Florida. Even if it was a swelteringly hot day in August, he’d be on the boat suiting up in his trilam 905. Like many male drysuit divers, he used a pee valve with a condom catheter. Unlike many male drysuit divers, this fellow would pull out his junk on the dive deck, in front of everyone to apply the condom catheter. Men, women, and children all had the joy of seeing this horror show. The first time I witnessed this, I looked on with absolute horror that was clearly visible on my face. 'What, do you want to look at it?' he asked me after making eye contact. I’d love to say this was an isolated incident, but it wasn’t. Shortly after, another instructor - this time female, was on the dive boat adorned in a drysuit. We were underway to the dive site, and she was conducting a briefing about the dive to be conducted. Her suit was half on, with the top tied around her waist. In the middle of the briefing, she took a dixie cup from the nearby water cooler rack, and shoved it down her undergarments. After a few seconds she pulled it back up, ¾ filled with urine. Without missing a syllable in her briefing, she threw the cup of piss over her shoulder, and then proceeded to repeat the process. After the third cup, one of the students couldn’t help himself. 'What are you doing?' asking the obvious. 'I’m peeing.' she replied. Remembering there was another female diver in a drysuit aboard the boat, she turned abruptly 'Amy!' She yelled out, 'I need to teach you how to do this!'

"I once spent a week diving the wrecks of Scapa Flow, it was awesome below the water but life aboard the boat wasn’t so pleasant. One guy had a new pee valve fitted to his drysuit and as is apparently often the case for the first few times, his condom catheter came off while he was christening it so the inside of his suit got flooded with pee, As the days went by his undersuit drying by the radiator became more and more wretch worthy. A few days later in very high seas a different diver undid the zip across his shoulder to his drysuit, pulled it over his head and pulled the suit down far enough so that he could pee into the toilet. In this case the toilet was a big metal container with a hole in it that would hold a weeks’ worth of waste. Anyhoo, at one point a big wave came along, the boat we were on went with the wave then down with the wave but unfortunately the contents of the toilet stayed up which meant our unlucky diver got a yellow gush of a week old pee cocktail right in the face. That was a fun trip."

Let's move on from the pee, to another key component of the diving world - the alcohol.

Alcohol-Fueled stories

"One not so glorious afternoon after we surfaced from a deep dive in Vietnamese waters, we were greeted with the fact that there was no longer a boat or a captain waiting for us to get back to land. Presumably he had found something better to do, like go eat lunch. We floated for about 4 hours drifting further out to nothingness. In the meantime some old friends, thunder and lightning, decided to come along and keep us company and make my job of keeping everyone calm even more of a feat. Several passing ships ignored our signals and pleas for help when finally a party booze cruise crossed our path, and we were scooped up by some drunken revellers who were heading to a different island. They wouldn’t bring us back to ours because the captain would get in trouble from his boss, so we got dumped off on a neighbouring island in nothing but our dive gear. I dealt with the situation like any Irish person, and started drinking the alcohol being offered to us hand over fist when people heard about our plight. It was medicinal for the shock, and I figured I wouldn’t be diving again that day anyway."

"After a fun dive trip in Brazil, our Divemasters disappeared on a small dinghy and shortly after returned to our vessel with a boatful of freshly caught fish. Their English was very limited, and our Portugese even more so, but what’s that to get in the way of enjoying a good party. We fired up the fish, cracked open the cachaça and it was all fun and games and a lot of happy hand gestures, until we realised the captain had gotten so wasted in the revelry that he couldn’t stand, or speak, even in Portugese, never mind drive a boat. So we had to take it upon ourselves to get it, and us, back to shore."

"I learned to drive a dive boat during my first divemaster job. I’d love to say it was because the Captain liked teaching others, and wanted his crew to be the best prepared they could be, but the reality was he was a raging drunk. Often, I’d show up for work and find him sleeping somewhere on the boat. I’d cover for him and do the start of day checks. As time went on, and this guy realized I could handle the job, this evolved to me checking in the guests, doing the briefing, and actually getting underway. At the end of his time with the company, he crawled out of a compartment (scaring the hell out of a diver) and foggily asked, “where are we?” I replied “The first dive site.” I’m leaving all clues to this operator out, as they are still in business under new, competent ownership."

"While working in Malapascua I was standing on the beach at 5am waiting for one last customer. We had knocked on his door and got no answer so decided he was a no show. Just as we were wrapping everything up and heading to the boat, a motorcycle came trundling along the sand with a young Philippino lad up front and a strange looking bundle on the back. The bundle turned out to be our missing customer who had apparently spent the past 16 hours drinking non-stop. When the guy riding the bike dumped the drunken passenger on the floor he woke up and after having managed to stand up (which took several attempts, a good few minutes and then eventually had to be completed with the assistance of two other people) he slurred drunkenly , 'I’m here for the dive, lemme just go get my gear.' Of course there was no way we were going to let him on the boat so I told him that on account of him being too drunk he was cancelled to which he replied, 'It’s OK, I’m a divemaster.'"

Sexy stories 

"Years ago, I was finishing up the last dive of a wreck specialty class. The area we were diving in often strong currents and it's common to do your safety stop hanging on the decent line. As 10 or so of us hung like flags in the breeze, one couple (I’m assuming they were dating) felt the uncontrollable urge to show their love and affection for each other. While the guy hung on the line, his partner hung onto him like a baby monkey. They proceeded to entwine themselves together, and grind their crotches into each other like pimple-faced teenagers for the duration of the safety stop. Only 2 layers of neoprene prevented this from being a triple-x rated display, but based on body language I’m pretty sure at least one of them climaxed. (Must have been the guy, as I’ve never seen what a female orgasm looks like.) To this day I have no idea if they just didn’t know we were above them or simply didn’t care, but 8 of us watched the show with head-tilting fascination."

"In 2012, I ran diving logistics for really high-end yacht charters. I was provisioning the boat for 12 passengers for 10 days of diving from an 80-meter yacht. As it turned out, it was 4 Rusian billionaires and 8 hookers. Halfway through the trip, they got tired of the hookers they had, and sent their helicopter back to shore to get a new round. These guys ended up doing 3 dives over the 10-day trip."

Rescue Diver Stories

"Right after my IDC, I found myself working for free in what was represented as a 'resume-building divemaster internship' in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was really 6 weeks of slave labor, but I made the best of it. One particular day, we were in transit to the dive site. Onboard the boat were a trio of young attractive females, and a rather ordinarily looking man in his mid-30’s who was unrelated to the girls. I don’t remember his name, so I’ll call him Bill.  As the guests prepared their gear, Bill busted out a 3mm shorty wetsuit, adorned with Rescue Diver patches sewn into each shoulder. After donning the suit, and giving the obligatory 1000-yard hero stare, the patches had their intended effect. One of the girls noticed them. 'Are you a rescue diver?' she asked with awe in her voice. Myself and the Captain shared a glance. 'Yes I am,' Bill responded. Bill went on to describe what life was like as a great American hero. The way he spoke, you’d have thought that if Air Force One went down at sea, he was on the short list of guys who’d be on the rescue chopper. 'Hey this guy is an instructor!' the boat Captain chimed in, gesturing to me. 'Excuse me,' the girl turned to address us in the most condescending tone, 'we were talking to the rescue diver.'"

"On a dive charter not very long ago, I was working as the dive guide. After conducting the roll call, we set off underway. Just after we pulled the fenders, one of the customers approached me. 'Can you let me know the certification of each person on the boat?' He asked. 'Why?' I asked. 'Because I am a rescue diver, and I’d like to know who to look out for.' Forgive me, Mr. Rescue Diver, while I go change my underpanties."

"This one could kinda fit in the poo section but whatever, we’re just doing this for shits n' giggles right? So I was working on a boat down in Costa Rica and like many dive boats it didn’t have a head on board. One day a lady asked about the head and got the usual story that there was none so she was welcome to hop in the ocean. She didn’t feel comfortable doing so without any kind of aid so we tied an inflatable ring to a rope and let it trail off the stern to give her something to hold on to. Now I don’t know exactly how this happened because the captain and I were respectfully looking the opposite direction but as we occupied ourselves by making small talk we kinda forgot about the lady taking a dump and then instinctively we both scanned the ocean at the same time. Upon glancing towards the back of the boat we remembered the line that was out there and the reason why it was there. Just as all this came back to us we noticed that the lady had somehow managed to get her head and shoulders into the life ring but upside down so her head was underwater and her ass was in the air. I’m not gonna go into too much detail about the next bit but just imagine a cross between a volcano erupting and a chocolate fountain. In spite of the scene of grossness we were both aware that the lady was trapped with her head under the water and couldn’t breath, so, who wants to play David Hasselhoff in that situation? I drew the short straw and had to dive in and swim towards her. Is I front crawled in her direction as fast as I could I noticed that her flailing legs managed to flip her right side up just before I got there. She was gasping for air and surrounded by detritus, thankfully she was able to hold the rope while the captain towed her in."

Vomit stories

"I have a lifelong set of friends who are also scuba divers. For the sake of annonominity, I’m going to call them Macdara and Martine. Right after graduating my IDC, they came to visit with me and dive. Martine is prone to seasickness, which I knew. What I didn’t know was that she was also prone to vomiting underwater through her 2nd stage regulator like a turbo outflow pipe. When I first saw this occur, my brain literally couldn’t process what I was seeing. It was a cloud of green emanating from her regulator, and she was flailing around like a mental patient. Immediately, 100 things went through my head, not one of them remotely correct. One of these thoughts was that she had contaminated air in her tank, so I pulled my alternate and attempted to give it to her. She rejected it. In retrospect, what was a horrible lapse in judgement on my part, I ripped her 2nd stage out of her mouth and tried to shove mine in. This was 15 years ago. Martine and I don’t see each other often, but when we do, after the hugs are exchanged, it will inevitably come up. 'Remember the time you tried to drown me?'"

"Being vomited on is one of the occupational hazards of being a diving Instructor. This isn't really the fault of the diver and can't be helped. My worst experience of puke was whilst working in Thailand. The dive company I worked for had a very small speed boat and the only way to gear up was to sit down facing each other and the Instructors would walk one guest at a time to the stern to jump. Unfortunately, the surface could be quite choppy and the remaining seated guests would often throw up whilst waiting, often on me as I tried to get them standing. One particular day was a scene straight from the exorcist with projectile vomit at velocities only a physics major could estimate. I want you to imagine me smiling politely and trying to comfort this person with vomit dripping off my eyelashes and chin."

"The thing I never get about people puking while on a dive boat is that the boat is small and the ocean is big so why always puke in the boat? My first ever dive puke story was on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) back in the UK. The deal back there is that you get on the boat fully kitted up, put your fins on, sit down on the inflatable side and hold on tight. Each of the two sides are crammed with about six divers aside and the boat speeds to the site and then everyone rolls back into the water. Upon reaching the site and just before we were able to roll, the motion of the ocean got the better of one guy causing him to projectile vomit straight across the width of the boat into the row of divers on the other side. As everyone was wedged into a confined space no one was able to move and all the unlucky recipients could do was look to the side as they got showered in barf."

Women behaving badly

"Periods can be tricky to handle on a boat, I totally understand this, you need to plan ahead, have the right protection with you and sometimes accidents do happen, this can't be helped. We have all had one, at one time or another, it's just a fact of life. As a female Instructor, the ladies often come to me for advice but I don't need to know when your next period is, flow intensity and brand you use. I once had a woman insert a tampon in front of me in preparation for a dive. As a woman and as 'part of the club' I was expected to be her human shield from the men on the boat. While I was recovering from that shock, she proceeded to hit me with the question 'Are sharks attracted to period blood?'"

"As any certified diver knows, each time a dive course is started you are required to complete a medical form. It's a simple form (I think) where you just need to answer YES or NO to some basic medical questions. One of these questions asks “Could you be pregnant?” In the middle of a crowded dive shop, my female student and her husband proceeded to tell me in most graphic detail about their sex life, contraceptive use, how often they have sex, and what position."

Never a dull moment in diving! Thanks for reading.


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