That's right boys and girls gather round,
it's Uncle Scott's sea story time. And as some of you kiddies know some of
Uncle Scott's stories are rather twisted.
This particular sea story begins on thanks giving day just before
dinner time when I worked for a company called Epic Divers. Not a bad
company. Lot's of fun. The owner was a lady that we all loved, cared for
and admired. So for someone like that you would sacrifice thanksgiving.
Besides after learning the crew roster of divers I knew that it would
be a fun job. The supervisor was a gentleman named Carl Ottman. We all
called him "Bulletproof" for the simple reason that he used to tell us all
stories of how he was some big time commando in the Air Force. Now any on
that has been in the military knows that the Air Force is just filled with
only one kind of person, and they are Weenies. So we all knew that
Bulletproof was full of stale fertilizer. But he was fun to listen too.
Also because he was a diving supervisor we could talk him into trying all
kind of impossible things underwater just so that he could prove just how
much of a bad ass he was. That too was fun to watch.
Thos job was a simple one. There was a drilling rig that was coming
to the platform we were going to be working on and we had to set some
underwater sonar bouy's for a buried pipeline so that the drill rig would
not crush it when it set down near the platform . A simple job really. Dig
up the pipeline and stick the sonar reflectors next to it.
So all of us divers are happily digging up this pipe and Bulletproof
is running up and down the boat deck barking orders like Captain Ahab, and
we were trying to follow those orders with out falling on the deck
Now Bulletproof had one particular habit that we all could do with
out. If Bulletproof was just going to do a quick water pop and not really
do anything of a strenuous nature he dives naked. Now there are few things
in this world I can live with out, and seeing Carl "Bulletproof" Ottman
naked is one of them.
Now picture this, a 6 foot 5 inch guy covered with enough body hair to
qualify as a bear skin rug, that is hair everywhere except on top of his
head. That's right ol Bulletproof is getting bulletheaded. To make up for
this missing hair on top, Carl grew his hair as long as mine on the sides.
o the result was an overload for the eyes. Throw in a beard that carl just
started growing and what you have is in the best description is a balding
yeti. That's right Carl looked like a Big Balding Bigfoot. And this
Bigfoot was running around the deck barking orders that were hard to follow
with a straight face.
Now it is my turn to dive again, I am going to be setting the last of
the reflectors. It's about 1 am in the morning and I am tracing pipe and
planting reflectors. When the next one to come down the line gets caught
and hung up on something. Being that I was already into decompression I
could not climb the line to free it up.
So here I am at the bottom of this down line looking up with the light
mounted to my hat sending out a beam of light up the down line looking for
the sonar reflector when I saw coming out of the stirred up muddy water the
biggest and ugliest fish I have ever seen in my life. It was big, it was
hairy, it had a big yellow head. And it scared the hell out of me. When it
landed next to me I screamed "I don't know what it is, but it's after me
and I am going to kill it!" So I started beating it with the hand held
probe I had in my hand.
After about the 4th time I wacked this ugly fish. I heard on the radio
"Carl would like for you to stop hitting him with the probe." I stopped
beating the ugly fish long enough to get a good look at it. What I saw was
a naked, hairy man wearing a harness and a diving hat, but now it had these
long welts running across his arms and chest and back where I wacked him
with the probe.
Once the beating stopped Bulletproof, stood up and calmly handed me
the last sonar reflector. Gave me an evil look through his face plate and
with as much dignity a naked man at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico can
muster, started climbing the down line back to the surface. Right through
a school of jellyfish that seemed attracted to his large hairy body.
Jellyfish are just one of the hazards of our job. That is why we wear
wet suits and gloves and other protective garments. But no matter how much
protection you have, those long tenticles on jellyfish will find the one
spot that is vulnerable. So you can imagine the field day the jellyfish are
having on Bulletproof.
I had watched Carl (Bulletproof) climb, and as the first tenticle hit
him, watched as he spazmatically jerked around trying to get it off his
body. It was obvious that he was not going to come back down and wait for
the school of jellyfish to pass. So, I did the only thing I could do in the
situation. I gave a play by play like the WWF for the benefit of everyone
on the boat, so they too could share in the spectical that I was now
witnessing. "OKay folks, we have a real pressure cooker here, Carl is
going to try and make this one a no-decompression dive. He's climbing
hard, he's climbing fast, ooooohh, nailed in the hand, now he is sliding
down a couple of feet. He looks undetaunted in his effort folks. Wow, he
takes one on the left cheek, that is going to leave a mark. Oh yes, folks
he is now getting tag teamed by a bunch of them at once. Looks like the
champ is going down for the count. No, wait, he is still climbing. That's
right folks, Bulletproof is still climbing. He is out of my sight."
After I could no longer see him, I went back to installing the last
sonar reflector. When I returned to the downline I was smart enough to
make sure the school of jellyfish was gone. Being I was already in
decompression a couple of minutes would have made no difference one way or
another. It was still going to be chamber time for me.
After I got out of the decompression chamber, I, as well as the rest
of the divers noticed that Bulletproof still had not gotten dressed.
Apparently he had tried, but the Jellyfish stings had raised some good
quality welts on his body better than the ones I put on him. Well there
are only two things that will stop the pain of a jellyfish sting, white
vinegar or urine. That's right urine. And for some strange reason all the
white vinegar on the boat just disappeared.
Well we couldn't have Carl running around naked all the way back to
port, because we were finished after I planted the last reflector. So it
was up to us to help Carl whether he wanted us to or not. So we all
tackled Carl and had the apprentice divers hold him down while each of us
unzipped let fly and hosed Carl down. The spirit of helpfulness got so
great that even the boat crew came down and unzipped for Carl. Though some
say we did go overboard on being helpful and using everyones urine. It was
a very moving moment for us all. Though Carl was not very happy about it.
But it did stop the pain of the jellyfish stings so he could get dressed.
There by sparing us all the site of his naked body.
So boys and girls, I guess the moral of the story is just because it
seems that everyone is p****** on you doesn't mean that they are out to get
you. They might actually be trying to help you.