Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jumping Off the Oil Rig

Today was one of those hot, muggy days where all you want to do is flop on the couch and sweat yourself a small lake. By that I mean the thermometer was hovering somewhere around 90 degrees. You can scoff at me if you like, but where I live that is all-fans-on-plus-air-conditioning-which-my-house-doesn't-even-have weather. So, what better way than to spend it at the beach?

Olivia and I had a camp together, but afterwards, Olivia, Alia, and I all went down to the lake together, with one intention: to swim out to the Oil Rig. It's this large, raised concrete platform in the middle of the lake with some old pipes on it. I'm not sure if it's actually an old oil rig, but everyone just calls it that. Anyway, people swim or paddle out there all the time and jump off it, and we decided we wanted to do just that.

Of course, parental precaution resulted in us swimming out there wearing life jackets and with boogie boards. After a little while we reached the Rig; it looked a lot bigger when we were right next to it, and the metal sides were all encrusted with algae and unidentifiable crustaceans. The ladder was very sketchy, but fortunately we all made it up unharmed. Up on top there were a bunch of metal pipes, a few puny plants growing between the cracks in the concrete, and crumbling little wooden structure that probably used to house some kind of control panel.

Olivia peered into the little house and exclaimed in delight, "Ooh! A bird's nest!"

My ears perked up. "Really?"

"Never mind. It's a wasp nest."


It was time to test our skills; could we jump off? We crept to the edge and peered over. It was only about a six foot jump, but it looked a lot higher. The water below was dark and murky. Who knew what could be lurking under there?

"So...who wants to go first?"

"I'll go," Olivia volunteered bravely. After trying to figure out a good way to jump off, she decided to crouch on the edge.

"Go!" Alia and I called to her.

After a few more minutes of coaxing, we realized this was going to be more difficult than we had thought. We were all chickening out.

We decided to all go together. We were gearing up to jump, when all of the sudden we looked down into the water.


There, right below us, was a giant fish, slowly ambling along. It must have been at least three and half feet long, and it was fat, too.

Now, I have this irrational fear of being in murky water and feeling a fish brush up against my ankles. Knowing I could jump in there and potentially be right next to a fish was...erg. Apparently Olivia and Alia felt the same way, because they shied back as well. In fact, we all started kind of freaking out. But the fish was scary! And it just kept slowly circling the Rig, stopping now and then to eat some algae off the side. It was not going away.

After the fish had made a few revolutions around the Rig, we decided it was now or never.

"You go," I told Olivia.

"No, Alia go!"

"No, Olivia go!"

"Guys!" I exclaimed. "Someone has to go!"

"Fine, then why don't you?"

"Fine!" I gulped, and then promptly jumped off. I was in the air for half a second before I hit the water with a splash. I surfaced and began frantically swimming for the ladder. The fish could be right beneath me. It could be coming around the corner right now! Honestly, the scariest part was knowing that the fish was there somewhere, ready to ambush me at any moment.

I scrambled up the ladder and came panting back to my friends.

"Okay. I did that for you guys. Now go!"

After repeatedly checking to make sure the fish was on the other side of the Rig (it was STILL circling) Olivia finally jumped. Then, after more fish patrol, so did Alia. Olivia jumped four more times, but Alia and I opted out. I'd had my excitement for today.

The fish finally moved on and we could breath again. We climbed down and boogie-boarded back to shore, where we had dinner on the beach. The day was awesome; hopefully I'll have the courage to go back and jump off again sometime.

But I know the fish is waiting for me.



(Left to right), Alia, Me, Olivia
The oil rig (way in the distance)
Sunset over the lake


  1. I love that last picture of the sunset, it's so beautiful!

  2. Ooooh. That sounds like a lot fun!!!!
    (I like your swimsuit)
    I like the way you write...haha

    1. It was scary but definitely super fun!

  3. Sounds exciting! Neat and very well written story!


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