Thursday, February 3, 2011

I've been IUIed

I had my IUI on Wednesday and now we are just waiting it out. Nothing really exciting to report about it, the whole procedure seemed to go pretty well. It hurt, but that's normal and I was pretty crampy the rest of the day, but I'm feeling better today. Now we wait...

In the mean time, I'll honor Magnolia's request and elaborate on my shark encounter story.

Picture it, St. Kitts 2001....

I just moved to the island to study veterinary medicine. I don't know anyone and in an attempt to help all of the new students bond, we are taken on a big catamaran to go snorkeling in Shitten Bay. I shit you not, the place was called Shitten Bay. Ok, I know some people still doubt so I'll add a map just to prove it to you. Look on the far southeastern tip of the island. Yup...Shitten Bay, told you so!
Ok so now that we all can picture it, I'll continue.
I had met a couple of people while on the boat and we chatted about school and being excited to go snorkeling. We all decided that we would be buddies in the ocean and explore the fishes and stuff together. When we got to the bay, everyone lined up to get off the boat and I was at the back of the line. My new BFFs told me that they would meet me out there and I figured 'cool, no biggie, I'm going to get into the ocean by myself'.....
So I get my fins and mask on and slowly ease into the water and start swimming out. I am immediately struck by how deep the water is and how barren the bottom is. There was no coral, there were no rocks, it was probably 50 feet deep and it was open water. So I start swimming in the direction of other snorkelers, but everyone was probably 100 yards or so ahead of me and still swimming away, most likely in hopes of finding some sign of sea life. After about 1 or 2 minutes of hard kicking towards the distant shore, I see something large and triangular straight ahead. Now, I don't know a lot about sharks, but I knew that what I was looking at was a LARGE shark and it didn't have any 'tips' so it wasn't a reef shark. It was bigger than me and it was coming right at me. In my infinite wisdom, I had an instant moment of bravery and I thought that if I swam directly at this large carnivorous creature it would get scared and swim away. My legs kicked hard maybe 2 times and then, my fight response turned to a flight response and I quickly turned around and began swimming like a bat out of Hell toward the catamaran. I had a fleeting thought about the other snorkelers, particularly my new BFFs who I was sure would be eaten on their journey back to the boat. After all, I had a head start and I could surely out swim a shark, right???
While swimming with all of my strength and prowess to the boat, my snorkel managed to take on water, I suspect that this is from the awkward, non-Phelps-like freestyle stroke that I was putting forth, and I began to choke. Fortunately I was only a few strokes from the boat and I quickly got out of the water. I then heard the conch shell that the tour group had to signal for everyone to return to the boat. Once everyone was back on, we motored to a new location to snorkel.
Apparently, we were not brought to Shitten Bay as originally promised, we were taken to some other bay that is part of the Narrows which is a passageway for sharks between St. Kitts and Nevis. The cruise director had apologized for the inconvenience and took us to Shitten Bay, where everyone got out and snorkeled and had a wonderful experience. Everyone, except me. I was too freaked out. I stayed on the boat and slammed back a couple of rum punches while watching for signs of my top predator friend.
It's weird. I should be less scared since nothing bad really happened. The whole experience should leave me feeling even safer since really, the shark could have eaten me, but didn't. Instead I am paralyzed with fear by the ocean now. Maybe if I really had a buddy with me I would be ok. The whole being alone thing really amplified my fear and feeling like I experienced it by myself made it seem worse too.
Sadly, I went another 10 months in St. Kitts and never went into the ocean deeper than my knees.


  1. OMG!! I can't even imagine. That is some scary shit. LGL, I'm sorry this happened, but you are a great writer. I was on the edge of my seat reading.

  2. Congrats on the IUI! I will be joining the 2WW with you tomorrow (hopefully).

    OMG I can't believe you came face to fin with a shark! You are so brave.

    LGL my hero!

  3. EEKK!! Thank you for sharing the story...very scary!! I got chills just reading it. I don't blame you, I would never be able to get in the water again either.

    Glad the IUI went well! Hope it's the only one you need :)

  4. I had a similar experience while in Key West snorkeling. My father literally threw my sister and I at the boat. Mind you we were 24 and 20 years old!

    GL with the IUI!

  5. omg, that would have scared me away from the ocean for life too!! yikes!!