What It's Like... To Get Engaged at 350 Feet
By: Lauren Fanning
On the morning of May 9, 2012, my boyfriend Jon and I woke up before the sunrise to prep for our 350-foot dive. I didn't realize more was in store for this dive beside the new push on depth for the two of us. Prior to this, our deepest dive was to 300 feet. Jon and I have a routine for technical dives. We put headphones in and turn the music up to zone out everyone and everything around us. Afterwards, we find "our spot" on the bow of the boat to meditate and visualize the dive until it comes time to gear up. As far as I knew, nothing was different this morning. We were getting close to the site and with a simple look, Jon and I know it's time to head back and get ready. I remember telling him we're so lucky to share such a unique and special experience together. We geared up and did a live drop. Luckily we're so in synch that neither of us has to wait for the other. We dropped down, did our bubble checks and then made our descent to 350 feet. Once we hit depth, Jon and I regulator kissed and cheered that we were at 350. Then he turned around and was kicking in front of me fumbling with his hands. I took in the dramatic scene in front of my eyes, a sheer ledge and 50 or so feet in front of that, another sheer drop off to who knows what depth massive pinnacles rising up.
Then Jon turned around and presented a slate to me. On it,I read the words, "Lauren Fanning, Will you marry me?" Plus, my options,"yes" and "no." I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. When I realized what was happening, I jumped on top of him laughing (while breathing helium and sounding like a chipmunk and laughing even harder because of that), and all the while my mask is completely flooded. He calmed me down and presented the slate again (I got too excited to circle yes, or no). I finally circled yes, over and over again. By now it was time to ascend and start decompressing. We switched from having a fun, romantic, crazy moment to being serious and having a duty to fulfill. I can't really imagine what decompressing face to face with Jon for 70 plus minutes would be like had I said no! I will say that deco went by very fast, and we surfaced to an entire boat full of people yelling, "Congratulations!"
I couldn't be happier with the proposal and cannot wait for the wedding. We will not be getting married underwater, though. We figured it might be a bit tough to tec train our mothers (who do not scuba dive), and find someone to marry us at I don't know... 400 feet.
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