We were staying on Biyadhoo Island in the Maldives having a blissful, relaxing week. Sensational snorkeling daily. They offered a boat trip that would take you out to swim with the enormous manta rays.
As we were boarding the boat I noticed there weren’t any life preservers so I asked them to provide one for my wife who does not swim. Of the six passengers, she was the only one with a preserver.
It was a long ride to the area where the Manta Rays were said to be swimming. Suddenly the boat stopped and the workers asked us all to get on the bow of the boat. The reason was that the stern was filling with water quickly. They forgot the plug. We all gathered on the bow of a rather small boat. The other woman could not swim. The workers had no hand pump (which all boats should have) and were trying to phone for help. Land was very far away and we were essentially sinking.
The water was warm, so I told Denny we would be fine for hours in the water and she would float. I was not as sure as I sounded. A boat miraculously appeared and we used their pump. The odd thing was that we then went to swim with the Manta Rays. I could not detect what had changed. So while swimming with these awesome animals I would pop to the surface to make sure the boat hadn’t sunk yet.
Denny was sick from the fumes from the engine. The manta rays were spectacular and a bit other worldly, but the craziness of gathering on the bow wasn’t super pleasant. This kind of relates to a boat experience I had in my teens that I will tell you about later.