Buceo con mi papá

LA PRIMERA VEZ QUE BUCEÉ CON AIRE COMPRIMIDO TENÍA 13 AÑOS. Mi familia y yo estábamos de viaje en Cancún, y mi papá nos llevó a mí y a mi hermana, Carrie, que tenía 11 años en ese momento, a tomar una clase de buceo. Hicimos un buceo de bajo riesgo, típico de un centro turístico, a no más de 7,6 metros (25 pies). Pero nos enamoramos del mundo submarino; quedamos fascinadas.

Mi papá había empezado a bucear con aire comprimido 30 años antes cuando se unió a la Marina Mercante. Viajó por el mundo en buques mercantes, lo que le permitió bucear en muchas ciudades portuarias distantes. Más tarde, él y su padre, Herb, bucearon por toda la ciudad de Nueva York.

Since Carrie and I received our open-water certifications almost 10 years ago, my dad has taken us on amazing dive trips. We once saw a goliath grouper in the Florida Keys that was so incomprehensively massive that I thought it was a manatee. Off the coast of Saba, we saw two gorgeous, dainty seahorses, one brown and one gold, curled around a piece of coral. On a night dive in the British Virgin Islands, where we did a phenomenal liveaboard trip, a bright-orange octopus turned teal in front of our flashlights. We have seen sea turtles, eels, stingrays, sharks, and other fascinating and stunning animals. We have dived shipwrecks, airplane wrecks, underwater sculptures, caves, and many reefs. Our dive trips are full of entertaining characters — we have shared laughs with divers from across the world.

But my favorite part of diving, even more than the wildlife and underwater scenery, is that I get to do it with my family. My dad is the ultimate dive buddy. When we are diving he focuses primarily on my sister and me. Are we keeping track of one another? Of the divemaster? His attention is a force of love. Every dive, before we got in the water, my dad would ask us the same question: “Have you checked your sister’s air?” He wants us to do for each other what he automatically does for us.

A few months ago, my dad was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. He underwent surgery that required doctors to remove part of his skull. One of his first questions afterward was whether he could still dive. All our searching indicates that brain surgery is often an absolute contraindication for diving. We checked with my dad’s neurosurgeon at Yale and the medical experts at DAN, who confirmed that it is very unlikely my dad will be able to dive again.

Doug McKay falleció pacíficamente como consecuencia de un glioblastoma el 3 de junio de 2022.
Kat y Carrie estaban a su lado.

I have never been on a dive without my dad. It is almost impossible to imagine going without him. I will miss my dad and think of him every time I dive for the rest of my life. But I will also remember all his lessons from our many dives together. On each dive, before we start, I will check my sister’s air. AD

© Alert Diver — Q3 2022

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