Monday, 7 February 2011
Along with the 'milk bottle', this seems to be the story people most want to hear...trust me...no animals or anyone other than me was injured in this.
It was the summer before I went to university and was with my family in Newquay, Cornwall. It was a great holiday, lots of sun and sand, the surfing championships...lots of good looking women...and an old dock/bay surrounded by very tall and old dock walls.
I was on the beach in this bay and I see a group of lads jumping from this very high dock wall into the ocean.
Like many of the most interesting parts of my life, they tend to follow me acting without thinking... this was one of them.
I thought 'damn that looks cool...I am a good diver..lets give that a go' I turn to my parents and tell them I am going for a swim and going to give that a go...they roll their eyes and get that look in their eyes I am used to...the one where they are considering which emergency service they are going to have to ring today.
ANYWAY...I swim over, climb the steps built into the dock wall...there were a lot of them, and take up my position in the line with the other divers. They are all at least 6ft I swear...all bronzed and I think wearing same shorts. I found out later this was the Newquay swimming team or something...and they gave me the dirtiest looks...which made me just want to do this more. They did not want me there, this fat little fella...so I would dive and show them I was good
Which I am
So I line up, crouch, then leap out into the air, making sure I pushed well away from the wall.
It was amazing. On most dices you hit the water before you can think. This time I felt like I was flying forever. In fact, this was the problem. I was in the air so long I wondered...'just how far do I have to go'..and looked up a little
That was the point I hit the water and with head up I was out of position so belly flopped, or rather hit with my chest.
Later, my dad told me that when he saw me on the wall, he took the dog for a walk across the dock...just in case. He was not even halfway to me when I dove and did not seem me. He did know it was me when he heard a huge BANG as I hit the water.
It hurt more than it sounds. I was out of breath, trying to tread water, basically dazed.
That's when a grey lump bounced to the surface in front of me
It was very large, like a great grey torso.
I gasped again...and then I saw its face
It was a seal!!!
Those watching told me it was swimming just under the surface where I dove...actually exactly where I landed.
I had landed on top of it.
Now it was floating on top of the ocean...motionless
All I could see was this dog like face, gazing at me...
I flipped, I panicked, I went plain crazy!! Despite still hurting I started swimming for shore.
Again, second hand I heard that I was halfway to shore when the creature shook itslef...and swam away.
I knocked it out..I had clubbed a seal with my own body
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) still has me on their most wanted list...the last bit was a joke..the rest not so much