We hope you were able to have a quick read of Part 1, but if you missed it, it’s here!
The next day of diving, a further distance away to a notorious dive site that has strong current and undertows. The Dive master (local to Puerto Galera, Philippines) had warned everyone and instructed for all to stay close to him and each other and to hold on to the rocks/coral etc.
(Never has AngMoh enjoyed having to hold on, as being taught to respect the ocean life and not disturb the live coral. Even dives where they specifically go to current waters to look for Manta Rays and just sit there to hold on are not considered fun or enjoyable for AngMoh).
They dove/swam over a nice reef for the first part of the dive with some definite current, but it was very manageable. They all swam over the edge of the reef to swim along side/by a wall. AngMoh had loved walls in the past. This one was different. The current was seemed to be going every which way – hence the undertow and even over-tows. Everyone in the group had to grab and take hold of the wall. The Dive master was working on grabbing people and helping them get to the wall. AngMoh and DengLang were dive buddies and were closer to the front of the group, hanging on to the wall and practically ‘climbing’ instead of swimming or drifting, as you would expect for a nice dive.
At some point, AngMoh’s grip on the wall was lost and she started going down and then up with the current very quickly. She struggled to swim back with all her might, literally fearing death with how strong the current was. DengLang had been trying to reach and grab her as well, but knowing for his own safety and each other’s, he had to maintain grip on the wall and could only use one arms length of reach. AngMoh’s determination and experience helped her reach the wall. The Dive master had been helping someone else and only came over after AngMoh had made it back to the wall. He made sure AngMoh was able to find a more secure grip. The next minutes seemed like hours for AngMoh as she focused all her mind on calming herself down to slow her breathing so she’d have enough air to get back to the surface. At the same time of trying to calm down, AngMoh had to clear and reset her mask. The current was so strong and there was an intense fight swimming down against the current with all her might that the mask for sure had shifted and lost suction.
Time was moving so slow. Calming down, hanging on and barely able to see DengLang through traumatized eyes and a recently cleared mask, it felt like the group was never going to get out of that treacherous spot and find a way back to the safety of the surface. Perception thwarted, the group – everyone including AngMoh (thank God!) started to crawl their way up over the crest of the ridge/top of the wall and back to hovering over the reef in calm waters for their safety stop.
Back on land and fairly quickly retreating to their room at the resort, AngMoh noticed a red rash over her entire belly and abdomen. AngMoh assumed it was a mild case of the bends (decompression sickness), given how the current had taken her UP and away and there was no telling how far and how fast she had gone up before swimming back to the wall. AngMoh and DengLang enjoyed dinner with the group, despite this dive town being a bit notorious for obnoxious and drunk Japanese men traveling and partying without their significant other.
AngMoh decided to sit out the rest of the dives the following (and last) day of diving. The trauma of being taken by the current, (literally where ‘being scared to death’ seems to fit perfectly… ), the red rash and the bends and generally not feeling herself and remembering the first easy dives were a bit of a struggle with air consumption, there was no hesitation in not going on the remaining dives of the trip.
Back home, in Singapore, working and living daily life, AngMoh started to realize she still had not got her menstrual cycle back after the miscarriage and dive trip. Loh and behold, AngMoh was pregnant again! They came to find out after learning they were pregnant, that AngMoh was about 5 weeks pregnant while diving on the Puerto Galera, Philippines dive trip. It was no wonder that the easy dives felt different and just a complete mind-boggling experience of that trauma and slight case of the bends in early pregnancy.
Precious was born about 8 months later. And a perfect little baby girl.
They never put much thought into the dive experience while pregnant in terms of it affecting Precious in any way. Though it still remains the last dive that AngMoh has done and one that she will never forget.
Once the kiddos are older and there is family to help watch them, AngMoh and DengLang are excited to dive again, though not in any notoriously high current ocean dives and turbulent unknown undertows and over-tows.