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It may yet turn out to be the most important day of my life. We were off on a weekend trip from Taipei down to Xiaoliuqiu, an island off Taiwan’s west coast. She caught my eye as soon as we met outside our subway station rendezvous. Her name was Jackie. Bubbly and full of light, I was watching carefully trying to work out if the guy she was with was a friend, dive buddy, or something more. It was December 2015, and our group was doing our PADI Advanced OW certificate. On one of the early dives, Jackie got into difficulty with her breathing just below the surface. I watched as the instructor took her hands, met her eyes, and calmed her down, all the while wishing I could have done something for her myself. At the same time, I admired her strength and self control in overcoming that horrible feeling and persevering with the dive. Back on the surface, while discussing the episode and what may have caused it, she said: “All I really need is for someone to hold my hand.” Naturally, I made a mental note. The next day, while halfway through the deep dive, we encountered a strong current. I’d been keeping an eye on Jackie through the dive, in case she ran into any problems. We were approaching a wreck–an old WW2 ship loaned to Taiwan by America and later sunk off the island’s coast. The brief had told us to expect a swim through of the ship’s bridge in single file, and as Jackie’s buddy made his approach ahead of her, I saw her freeze and tip vertical in the water. Sensing something was wrong, I booked it over to help as fast as I could to take her hand in the water. Holding her fast and breathing calmly, I guided her breathing back to something like normal with my eyes. I had no idea what she thought until she thanked me for it back on the surface. It was the first time I’d been aware enough to really do something for another diver. It felt fantastic. On the way back to Taipei, I asked her out for a drink after we returned to Taipei. She said yes. The rest, as they say, is history. We have been together for a year and are as happy as can be. We dive together whenever we can, and took our Rescue Dive course together. I now know the breathing thing happens as a result of vertigo whenever she can’t see the bottom or another landmark beneath the surface, and while we’ve worked out ways to deal with it, sometimes holding hands is the only thing that will do. Disclaimer: Only approach people you fancy underwater if they are in difficulty and you are pretty damn sure they like you ;-) #Taiwan #Xiaoliuqiu #Wreck #Advanced #Love

thanks for sharing your story :)... More

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