Adventure,  Inspiration,  Travel,  Writing

Big 5 Dive: Afterword

It’s been a week now, since twenty people stayed awake for more than 24

Big 5 dive
The lighthouse in Olcott

hours, drove over 1000 miles, and dove in all five Great Lakes.

We followed the hydrology of the lakes, echoing the natural flow of freshwater, but also mindful not to encourage the spread of invasive species that threaten the balance in the lakes.

Thanks to Meaghan, I bought myself a glass water bottle, in the hopes I don’t have to buy another plastic one ever again.

Big 5 Dive
monument in Olcott, to the wounded soldiers of the Civil War. The words etched on the pedestal are those of unity.

Sunday morning, after the dive, I walked around Olcott, NY, a cute town that seemed like a charming place to station oneself and go wine-tasting or visit Niagara Falls. I didn’t do either.

Tami drove back a rental car to Detroit. Liz climbed into the other van with Sarah and Hannah, and returned to Alpena. Many of the other women had already scattered.

I drove the van through Canada, hawking our social media to the border guards. We took Veronica to the airport in Hamilton, and Kyle, Jessica and I made for Alpena.

Big 5 Dive
Benefits of driving through Canada is Canadian gas station snacks.

We cleaned out the vans and returned them Sunday night, ended up at McDonald’s for dinner, as it was the only place still open. I ordered a side salad, and as the woman was making Liz’s sundae, she “accidentally” made an ice cream cone, and did one of us need it?

Yes. Yes I did.

We ended up at Latitudes that night, a bar not far from our home base. We were tired, yes, but silly. One round ended up as three, all of us laughing harder and harder, but that was okay, as the rest of the bar was watching “Preacher” on TV, and not paying us any mind.

Big 5 Dive
What was left of the production team in Alpena. Kyle is so ecstatic he can barely stand it.

I had a few days with no problems, but by Wednesday, I was definitely feeling tired. An exhaustion that perhaps had more to do with coming down after the initial section of a project than the physical demands of a feat.

On Thursday, I discovered I still had water in my ears.

On Friday I slept most of the day.

While I am not back home yet, back to my daily grinds and work and house stuff, I am with family. We’ve talked books and music, and I’ve played trucks with a tow-headed little boy after a walk around the block.

I’m grateful. I’m grateful to Stephanie, Meaghan, and Jacque for coming up with this idea, and doing all of the reconnaissance necessary to figure out where we were going. I’m grateful to Liz and Kyle at Mad Law Media for wanting to film and needing a dive buddy. I’m grateful to Tami and Jessica for driving so much. I’m grateful to all of the lady divers, and how hard they have worked in their respective fields to get them to the point where this dive meant more than just a stunt.

I’m grateful to all the businesses that donating items to us, and of course, the people who have donated money to make this happen. Having done that sort of crazy feat, I  hope we do set a record.

Not just a record: I also hope that we reduce our use of plastics. I hope we helped raise awareness of the gender gap in diving. I hope the documentary that follows is spectacular. I am tired, but I am still filled with optimism and expectations of each day being better than the last.

Big 5 Dive already sounds crazy again, though everyone I meet is eager to discuss it.

“Why did you do that?” is a common question.

And all I can think is that smart-pants remark purportedly made by Mallory when he was asked about climbing Mt. Everest: “Because it is there.”

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