Dive Watches: How a Dive Watch brought a Dad Home
The Story of Eliot’s Subnautica dive watch
A Navy diver, Elliot, packed his gear. His pack contained items like each of his mates, but with one exception. His son had purchased him a Father’s Day gift. That gift was now his only memento, of a life he feared may never again exist. It was the perfect gift, a dive watch.
This mission would be unlike any other. To begin the rescue, a flight would cut low into the jungle region of enemy territory. He and his squadron would drop from rope ladders into shallow swamp, holding nothing but their survival gear. Then the trek to their dive point would begin.
Then it happened: He had known this mission was ill-fated. Just as the small chopper lowered its rope ladder, enemy fire struck. Elliot considered his options. Then he leapt. A 30 foot drop into the murky waters below. The map was right. The swamp surrounding the jungle floor, beneath the thick tree line. But there was no wading through his landing spot. As he sunk beneath the water, thick with vegetation (and deadly snakes), he questioned his decision.
It took mere seconds. The memories that flashed through his mind spanned 7 years. The 7 years he had been a father. He had to make it home to his son. James would not grow up without his dad.
Sinking through the murk had been a shock. The shock was over. It was time to rebound to the surface. Divers aren’t just experts on going under, but built to ascend!
The months of torture endured had given his lungs strength. Holding his breath was involuntary. His chest had filled with oxygen as his feet had skimmed the surface. Chest full, Elliot propelled himself to the surface.
His head peeked above the surface. No enemy fire. No one in sight. Shore 20 yards away. Moments from boots on ground.
He stood and looked down. It was still there. It’s ticking uninterrupted. His gift was his only survival tool. Which direction was he facing?
He knew to head southwest. It would be 4 miles to safety. He laughed at the thought. Safety. His jungle escape would leave him stranded. His oasis a neglected isle. Safe was a long TIME away.
Pushing through the brush, he realized his thirst. He recalled seeing Nipa Palms. Would there be more? Should he backtrack? Their nectar would provide not only water but a sort of nectar to fuel him.
James!! He could not stop. Pushing harder, he entered a clearing. His eyes were deceiving him. No. It was real. A grouping of Nipa Palms.
His watch telling him sunset was minutes away. His thirst screaming stop. The sweet tropical Nipa offering nourishment. It was time to camp.
Thirst now quenched, he stared upward. The sun was definitely sinking. Sunset was 18 minutes away. Time to set up camp.
Primitive would be an understatement. There would be no fire. Shelter would be sticks and palm leaves. The goal being to NOT GET BIT..
Elliot looked down, at his gift. He touched the (still flawless) glass. He explored its features. He noticed a few things. The glass did not allow the last flickers of sun to create a glare. There was a nice bezel. Not a watch aficionado, , he knew it reminded him of a watch he had seen before. And making one last discovery, he found something unexpected.
Lume! James had said that word. Now he understood. This was not a mini light to see the dial. It was more. Not a flashlight, but definitely a glow.
Hydrating on the Nectar of the Nipa, using the light on his wrist, Elliot felt pride. What an incredible gift!
“I’ll see you soon, son”
That refrain drove him through the thick brush. He knew he needed to reach the “safe haven” island before noon. Intense sun, no water, and a heavy workload were not in his plans.
It was 10:22 when he tore through that last thicket of brush. He wiped sweat from his brow and looked again. Ten Twenty Two!!
James had been born on October 22nd. James was why he had to survive. His only survival tool, a gift from James. Tears flowed down his face.
Gathering himself and his thoughts together, Eliot dove in. This dive was much more controlled. The waters free of most dangers he encountered in the swamp. This swim would be quick.
Fifteen minutes later, he stood on the shores of Nasugbu. Westerners had named it “Fortune Island”. It’s biggest mystery was why no one did inhabit it. Now it would have a population of 1.
Today was Wednesday. The rescue flight set for 6 pm. There were always contingencies. He did have a concern. What if the Chopper pilot had not returned? Would they know he’d had to bail out?
All Elliot could do was wait. He found some coconuts. He drank the contents. He rested in the shade. He would see his son again.
It was destiny. It had to be. The dive watch, the lume, and 10:22. This was the design of a higher power.
It jolted him from his rest. The roar of a plane engine overhead. Frantically he sprinted to shore, from under the shade of many a palm tree.
The rope lowered. He held on tight. Each step up a combination of physical agony and emotional relief. Once aboard, he collapsed from an exhaustion and relief of the last 30 hours.
He awoke many hours later. He was not ready to awake. It was abrupt. The voice bellowed a familiar message. Daddddy!
James sprinted towards him. He had no idea of the events of the last 48 hours. He just knew his daddy was home.
One day, Elliot would tell him the story. He would tell him the dangers of his occupation. And he would tell James how his mens designer watch gift had helped him escape the jungle. Today was not that day.