I remember the air time thinking wow when am I going to hit the water. My body was hurling towards the earth seeking to achieve terminal velocity. It was an inky black night about 34 degrees which was nothing compared to the 43 degree water I would hit any second.
It all started so innocently, I was attempting to get my two young dates to give up their impossibly teeny bikinis with dares of jumping off the side of the ship and skinny dipping with me. Of all the people I know I hold the record for getting complete strangers naked and doing stupid shit with me. I had invited a few of my girl friends over for a last ho-rah on my friends ship before they set sail for Sitka Alaska. The ship has a Jacuzzi mounted on the roof above the bridge. Put 5 guys in a jacuzzi with two cute little girls and a cock fight is bound to break out.
It started with us insulting each other, then we started insulting each others mothers. One thing led to another and we were making ridiculous dares. When a life jacket was shoved in my face I knew it was getting serious. Anyone who knows me knows my absolute fear of water, they also know I’m always the first one in. So there we were wet and shivering standing at the edge of the ship staring into the dark void. I couldn’t actually see the water but I knew it was there somewhere, I kept thinking um.. gee doc, the last thing I remember is… All I had to do was jump and gravity would show me the way.
Against the bold, daring is unsafe.
I pulled out the double dare in a last stitch effort to get the last of the tough guys standing at the edge with me to back down. Then I heard the most dreaded words of all, the triple dog dare. I was mid flight falling through the black of night before he finished, the air time was amazing. My body split the icy water in perfect form and I heard Tanner hit the surface before I rose back to it. It was freezing but the adrenalin had taken over as we laughed and splashed at each other. We swam to the safe haven of the ship when we realized the deck was several feet up. We were tied to the saw-tooth with no dock near enough to swim too. Captain Erik came down and pulled my 150 lb body out with one arm but the two of us couldn’t get tanner out. We ended up hanging a ladder over the side and with-in minutes we were all back in the Jacuzzi warming our frozen bones. Just another day in the life…
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.