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I Disappeared

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Mar 2, 2002
I had an unusual experience the other day. It was on the last dive during a few days of Freediving off the shores of Hawaii. I pulled on my gear and kicked out over the sunny shallows of a Marine reserve called Puako. One hundred yards from shore the rolling slope of coral fell off quickly into the cobalt blue.

Once I finished the kick out I hung on the surface and let my heart beat slow. I bobbed and dropped down on a few preliminary dives. Dives that you know aren’t your best but kind of a warm up to the real thing.

Next I began dropping to the coral bottom at about sixty feet. Although I didn’t have my spear that day I acted as if I was hunting, it’s a meditation. Lying on the bottom still as can be, just waiting. Nothing moves, not even the eyeballs. Looking at everything but nothing in particular and allowing for the opportunity of a big fish to swim up close. I repeated this kind of dive for about a half hour, two minutes down, two on the surface. It was at this point, about 40 minutes in the water, that I could go my deepest and stay the longest before starting to feel blown out. Coincidentally boredom began to set in too. So I called off my tired old hunter mindset and began to play.

I thought I’d just drift to the bottom like a leaf off a tree, kind of horizontal and gradual. I dunked under and let the gravity take care of the descent. Out in front of me nothing but deep blue, No sound, no discernable temperature variation, no current. Pure quiet, pure relaxation and a totally empty head. Slowly falling through a liquid atomsphere. Then, only a few seconds into the drift something happened. In one moment it was just another tranquil moment in the ocean and the next, as if a switch got flipped, I felt like I became invisible. I had the sensation that behind what I was seeing was just more ocean, no legs, no body, no fins, no mask, "I" was gone! There was nothing of me there, just the experience of the environment. It felt unreal, amazing, like I was the invisible man.

The drift to the bottom was slow but unfortunately destined to end. I set down gently onto a coral head and returned to my body so to speak. A large fish grew out of the distance as I lay there trying to process what had just happened. It was a Hammerhead shark. Thinking back it’s still like a dream. It approached me directly in a long curving glide, about thirteen feet long and probably upwards of six or seven hundred pounds. Just one beautiful huge shark and lots of blue water. I didn’t feel a threat although it was definitely coming to see me. Since I was out of air by then I gave a gentle kick and began to surface. As I was rising it curved directly under me and began following the rolling reef. I surfaced and tagged along as long as I could before it left me behind.
Beautiful, man.....I was there for a second!
Erik Y.
somebody shake me..

I'll second Erik's take on your experience, kb. Very nice stuff and more of a reason to do this.

the great hammerhead

definitely one of my favorite creatures to tag along with. :D

thanks for sharing, kb.


I just read your story...It was great! Reminded me of some dives in the Keys. Thanks again.
nice story

Thanks for the trip. I felt a bit invisible right there deep in the story for a moment as well.
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