One of the benefits of being a professional summarizer is that I get to travel to wild and exotic locations and try new and dangerous things. Many of the adventures have taken place in the sea, an environment in which I am not totally comfortable. There is something about the sea that speaks to me. It says: “When you enter the ocean, you become part of the food chain.” This is not a reassuring voice to have in your head, especially if you've been invited to go snorkeling.
At a recent convention on Grand Cayman Island, my client invited me to join the group for a catamaran and snorkeling adventure. “Sure,” I said, thinking I'd be safe from the hazards I see on Animal Planet. Then they told me that we'd see lots of sting rays, and immediately I conjured up mental pictures of Steve Irwin. Why would anybody purposely visit with the animal that killed the Crocodile Hunter?
My apprehension lessened after I got into the water and actually saw the graceful creatures float by with no animosity toward me. I was enjoying the sights of the Caribbean when I noticed a large moving mass about 30 feet away. As I stared at it, the monster turned toward me, and I locked eyes with the beast. I was looking at a 12-foot shark, and the shark was looking at me — as a mass of white flesh that moved like a wounded dolphin.
As I tried to recall what the Boy Scout manual says about a shark attack, I swam for all I was worth toward the boat while yelling, “Shark!” at the top of my lungs. My fellow snorkelers heard my cries and soon, everybody was making a beeline for the boat.
As the instructor pulled me out of the water, he laughed that little instructor laugh and said, “It's only a harmless nurse shark, mon!” to which I replied, “Well, it ain't gonna nurse off of me.”
I had another diving adventure on the Big Island of Hawaii. Not far from Kona is a beautiful public beach and a lagoon full of colorful fish. It's a snorkeling spot for locals and tourists alike, and I wanted to join in the fun. When I rented my snorkeling equipment, the man handed me what looked to be a plastic bag full of kibble. “Here,” he said, “take this food. The fish love it.” I thanked him and headed for the beach with my underwater camera and my kibble.
Once I was in the water, I began taking pictures of the underwater beauty, but the fish I wanted to photograph were too far away. To coax the fish closer, I opened the bag of kibble and threw out a few morsels. Well, you would have thought I set a full banquet because fish came from everywhere to get one of these tasty treats. Red fish, blue fish, one fish, two fish. It was a dazzling sight.
Since it was difficult to operate the camera with one hand and hold the fish food in the other, I stuck what I swear was a sealed bag into my bathing suit. Unfortunately, the bag was not completely sealed, and a few pieces were still coming out — of my shorts. The determined fish ate those up and went looking for the source. Now I had a full-fledged dilemma on my hands and fish in my pants. I quickly threw the kibble as far away as I could. Once again, I heard the voice: “When you enter the ocean, you become part of the food chain.”
To learn more about Dale Irvin and how a professional summarizer can take your meeting to the next level, visit www.daleirvin.com. For booking information, contact Speak Inc. at (858) 228-3771.