Thai version

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Snapping Shark

September, 1989 Marshall Islands Kwajalina. The Marshall Islands is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean. They were part of the stepping stones in the Pacific. They became important during the Second World War because the Japanese built a landing field on them. They were taken from the Japanese with a great loss of life. There is many Japanese buried on the islands. The island became important again when that Reagan started the Star Wars Project. Since it is the world largest atoll missiles launched from Brandenburg Air Force base in California splashes down in the atoll in the Marshall Islands. Outside of the atoll is shadowed by Russian ships monitoring the missiles and they would try to recover any that missed the atoll and landed outside in the open ocean. It has became quite a cat and mouse game.

I was assigned to this Corp of Engineer project. It was spread out from the far north part at Roi to the far southern part of the atoll. They had missile launch sites a landing strip big enough for a C-5 to land on and scheduled flights by Continal airlines. The highest part of the island was about 6 foot above the high tide mark.

We was allowed to join the scuba diving club that supplied us with unlimited tanks of air. Also we could rent boats that you could use to go out on different sections of the atoll and scuba dive on. Also their was many wrecks that you could dive on. We recovered lots of the 6 ounce Coca-Cola bottles, Japanese’s beer bottles, Japanese’s Sake bottles, and Japanese’s wine bottles and many other things while diving. Also we collected a lot of sea shells while diving.

We would sometime team up and four people would rent a boat so the cost was not so high. One day me and my partner who both only took photos and collected sea shells was joined by two others that was going spear fishing. We got the boat and head out to a nice looking section of the reef. We stop and insure the anchor on the boat is tight. Before the four of us begins our diving. The two spear fishermen head north and me and my partner head south. After following my partner for some time he disappeared behind a coral head while I am checking a small cave that a octopus is using. It has a lot of shell outside but they are all damaged by the octopus breaking them to get the meat out of the shells. It seems like a short time but my gauge shows that I have only enough air to get back to the boat. When I get to the boat my partner is already aboard as is one of the spear fishermen. However the other spear fisherman has not returned to the boat. However I see bubbles headed toward the boat. I go overboard with just my mask and flippers to help the spear fisherman. Then I see what I think is really stupid. The spear fisherman has placed the fish he has shot on his chest and is swimming on his back toward the boat. However a white tipped shark is following him and nips at his flippers while he swims to the boat. We both stay on the water while the shot fish are lifted aboard the boat. Without any food around the shark leaves. Then it is safe for both of us to get into the boat. If the shark was a really hungry I think the dumb spear fisherman would have surly been bitten by the shark trying to get the shot fish, instead of just being nipped at by the shark.

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