Tobermory v3.1

Latest edits to this short piece. Here’s hoping that it’s better for it! Here goes:

Tobermory. She tastes it on her tongue. Exotic. It drips like mango down her throat. Nearly half the group has been here before, out of the twenty odd divers she is standing with at the Parks Canada’s office in the Georgian Bay. The rest have heard about it. Here it was, only ten hours away from Montreal. Tobermory. The divers speak of it like a place of legend. Mecca. The one Canadian dive site to make it into those “50 Places to Dive Before You Die” books. They are handed numbered discs that say FATHOM FIVE, the name of the park, blue plastic dog tags that nobody will ever ask to see again. They are told to wear it on their person at all times when diving. Later on, she will tie-wrap it to her BCD.

She wanders through the Welcome Center’s museum, where they keep corn under pressure, still edible (at least for fish), from the wreck of the Arabia. Later, Serge tells her that this is how researchers found the wreck in the eighties – following fish with corn in their bellies. Before that, diving operations would drag their anchors along the bottom until they hit the boat. Damaging it with the ‘I-wants’ of the tourists. Today, it was unthinkable. Take only pictures, leave only bubbles.

Lake Huron is called the Ship’s Graveyard because of the sheer number of wrecks. She figures that demands some kind of respect – that even back in the eighties people would have had better sense than to drag anchor. But then again it isn’t all solemn: hanging unseen and all undiscovered in the Crow’s Nest restaurant is a picture of Serge and his buddies, a letter on each asscheek: TO-BE-RM-OR-Y!, the year. There’s a balance to be struck here.

The next morning, they board the Lark at eight. She has never been seasick before. She is now.  Stare at the horizon, keep your face in the wind, drink diet cola, it has aspartame. She rehearses what she will say after she rinses her mouth, can feel the smell of breakfast on her breath. Her instructors tell her the fish will love her – it is their way of showing concern. She will say I puked twice on Lake Huron, but Lake Huron didn’t puke on me. You tell me who wins. Lame, but it breaks the tension.  The divers suit up, check equipment. They will be diving on the Niagara II.

There are no waves and no horizon under the water, nothing beneath your feet to muddle your mind. No seasickness. The only way out is in.

    • Brad
    • September 16th, 2010

    omg Serge is all famous now and committed to history in Jesscotte’s writing!

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