Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life and death in Roatan

Roatan beneath the surface

       Chris and I have been in Roatan, Honduras for almost 3 weeks now, and we've finally gone below the surface. Diving here is spectacular, and we're fortunate to have our own gear and a dinghy to get us there. All we need do is just go.

     Earlier today, Chris and I had just finished lunch aboard Espiritu when we heard a call for help on the VHF. There was a diver in distress on the reef only a couple of hundred feet away from our boat. Chris and I jumped in the dinghy and headed over.

   Chris dropped me off and went for help in the dinghy. I did CPR for 45 minutes on Tony. Tony from New York. Tony in his dive gear, with his wife holding him helplessly as he lay dying.  Doing CPR on the reef wasn't easy, but I gave it my best shot.

 40 foot reef, site of Tony's last dive

          Tony died today, doing what he loved. He and Marilyn were married for 45 years. Only this morning they were beginning an idyllic SCUBA vacation in paradise. Now she's sitting alone in a hotel room thousands of miles from home trying to figure out where her life goes from here.

                                                     Life and death. They are everywhere.

Dock and Roatan water

                          Mostly what we have seen on this adventure is life, life and MORE life!

The Roatan jungle teems with life

 While the situation is tragic and sad, Marilyn said without a doubt that she was happy he died doing what he loved. They think he had a heart attack, by the way.

 So, for you and me, the only possible lesson is to live each day fully.

And I plan on doing just that. What other option is there?

 I knew going into this trip that the experience would give me the chance to examine my life in another culture and another place, and move beyond what I know.

          Only time will tell how this experience is changing me.  But it IS changing me,
                          in ways I can only begin to understand. 


  1. So sad, but bless you for trying to help.

    This reminded me of a couple who joined my Channel Islands Trip, Rick and Lea. They are a couple of early retirement age dive gypsies. After my trip they were going on to Palau. While I hope nothing like this ever happens to them, I suspect they would prefer it over a hospital on dry land.

    Their blog:

  2. Life and death go hand in hand - can't be afraid of dying if we want to live fully - he was doing what he loved. That must have taken a lot of courage - I'm so glad you could be there for them. Hugs, Kyra

  3. I just attended a friends funeral service yesterday... possible suicide. I think this event has affected your spirits this year, as it has mine. It really was a nice Christmas, but my thoughts were a bit elsewhere. May you have a wonderous new year, with better "vibes".