“The Aggressor Changed My Life!” by Seth D.

I was certified as a diver in 1995 – primarily because the woman I had begun dating was in the process of getting her instructor cert and I figured that if this was going to work, I was going to have to become a diver. A year later, she convinced me to try a liveaboard (she had done several Aggressor trips before we started dating). I was dubious – after all, I only had a few dives under my belt and, more importantly, I didn’t feel like I had any good dive stories to share with others who would be on the boat. But I reluctantly agreed, and we boarded the Turks and Caicos Aggressor in September 1996. It was a great trip and as it progressed, I realized that if I could enjoy a week “trapped” on a boat with this woman, she was “the one.” So, without much additional thought, on our last dive, I made a spontaneous decision. It was a shallow dive and as we were finishing it, I called her over to me as I got down on my knees on the sand. Using hand signals that, in retrospect, might have been interpreted as suggesting something different (and difficult to do while wearing a wetsuit), I proposed. After a moment, she figured out what I was doing, and indicated her assent by giving me the OK sign. When we got back on board, she asked whether I had just asked her what she thought I was asking and was I serious. For a fleeting second I realized I had an opportunity to back out, but I really did want to marry her so I told her that of course I was serious. She then said “Where is my ring?” to which I responded – do you think I’m crazy enough to take a ring with me underwater and try to put in on your finger? (In reality, of course, I didn’t have a ring, because, as noted, this was all spontaneous and unplanned). Her response was “couldn’t you have at least given me an O-ring?” As it turned out, at that moment I looked down and there was an O-ring on the deck of the boat. So I picked it up and presented it to her as her engagement ring. While I subsequently got her a real engagement ring, she still has that O-ring and we’ve done many, many dive trips over the last 25+ years, including over a dozen Aggressor Liveaboards (in fact, I’m typing this while we are on the Bahamas Aggressor). And she still wears that rubber O-ring on every one of those trips. A postscript: When we announced to the other guests at the last night cocktail party that we had gotten engaged, they began lobbying us to have the ship’s captain perform the wedding right there and then. While I suppose it would have made for an even better story, we opted to wait until we got home so we could have a Caribbean themed wedding in front of family and friends, followed, of course, by a honeymoon dive trip on the Kona Aggressor.

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