Diving with the Dude

By Kevin Juergensen ( The Dude)

My Latest Dive with McKenney PartII

After our return from Fiji, I was quite busy counting all my money from the treasure I had found and depositing it in my Swiss Bank account. I came home to my 200 acre estate in Bel Air to relax from the rigors of counting $500 bills.

As I was sipping a pink lemonaide in my Versace lawn chairs, I noticed my friend McKenney was mumbling as he mowed my 140 acre lawn with the manual mower (I don't believe in polluting the environment with hydrocarbons, and gas is sooo expensive these days).

As he passed by me, I could tell he must have been angry at the garden pests he encountered, because he looked at me, and I could hear him mumble "Fuckin' lousy worm. Stinkin' lousy worm"... over and over.
I decided then and there that I needed to take my friend on another dive adventure.
To that end, he told me that he had heard that there was some great diving off the Scottish coast, where the water was warm, clear as daylight, and had virtually no current. "That's where you belong, dude" he said. Well, a recommendation from McKenney is as good as gospel to me, so we were off.
I had to make some preparations first: I contacted my friends in the Clinton administration (I had made these friends when I contributed $100,000 to the "Save Hillary's Butt" crusade, which provided the first lady with a continuous supply of Winchells Doughnuts to preserve the first-butt...) to get permission to use the U.S. Navy's new XBZ-6000 Mark 36 plutonium-powered rebreather. One was shipped to me via Apache Helicopter the next day.
McKenney told me that in order to maximize my use of this unit, I had to complete Kato's Deep Air course, which was now being taught in South Florida, at a place called "Wakulla". As soon as McKenney packed my bags, as well as Buffy's (my current flame that I met waiting for her "date" on Sunset and Vine in Hollywood) we were off.
On the flight over, Buffy had some problems figuring out how to use the towell dispenser in the airplane restroom, so McKenney volunteered to help her out. Two hours later, they both emerged, and by the smiles on their faces, I could tell that she had finally got the difficulties of air travel licked.
Kato met us in Florida, and we proceeded to drive in his 1965 Plymouth Valiant to Wakulla. Kato had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that read "Deep Air es Muerte!", and a licence plate that read "OTOX 1". Since I don't speak Spanish, and I'm not very good with anagrams, I didn't quite understand what they meant. McKenney just smiled at my questions and said "you will soon, dude..." I was elated. My continuing dive education had begun!
On arrival at Wakulla, my new scooter was also waiting for me. I had the boys at Los Alamos Nuclear Lab build it for me. It had a Westinghouse 750 hp motor driven by a internal nuclear reactor that connected to a 4' diameter prop, and was capable of cruising in excess of 260 knots at a rated depth of 20,000 FSW.
I decided to try it on my first dive.
We hit the water, and immediately began to descend. Since the XBZ-6000 weighed in at over 400 lbs. I began to descend rapidly.
McKenney gave me the techdiver "are you O.K?" sign (a raised middle finger) immediately. I signalled back that so far, I was fine. He then gave me the techdiver "check your PO2" sign (which is a motion of pointing at me, then grabbing his crotch up and down). I checked the PO2 on my secondary display. It read 3.0 and climbing, which is what Kato and McKenney had set it for ("Can't get too much oxygen", said Kato).

Comfortable in the care of my two good friends, I proceeded to enter the cave system, powered along by my scooter. As I entered the cave, I noticed a legend in the community, George Irvine, III, coming out of the cave. He had in tow about 6 divers who must have been practicing their breath holding technique, for none of them had their regulators (which were attached by short hoses) in their mouths.

I waved enthusiastically at Mr. Irvine, since I was in awe of meeting this great man. In return, he too gave me the techdiver "are you O.K?" sign. Can you imagine, this great man, in the middle of a training exercise for what I learned later was the "King/Stone Exploration Project Team" would take the time out to ask if I was o.k? I was thrilled!
As I got deeper into the cave system, I turned on my square lights that McKenney had loaned me, and saw the most amazing things. Being new to cave diving, I had never imagined how beautiful cave systems were.
By this time, my friend McKenney must have decided that I was ready to fly solo. He swam up to me, and with a last "are you O.K?" sign, he placed a zip-tie over the throttle of my scooter, and cinched it all the way down. Immediately, I took off accelerating rapidly. As I looked back, both Kato and McKenney were giving me the "Check your PO2" sign in unison. Since it had stabilized at my set-point of 4.5 I decided to concentrate on steering the scooter, since it was getting close to its cruising speed of 260 knots.
Everything began to blur in my vision, which I attributed to my excitement at all the new experiences I was having. I kept passing all these arrows, and line running along side the cave walls, until suddenly they stopped. I must have travelled a good 12 miles beyond the last one, when suddenly my square light exploded.
Not to be deterred, I reached into my b.c. pocket and pulled out my Bic squeeze light that I kept for just such an emergency. It worked very well, and lit the rest of my journey.
Before I knew it, the cave seemed to have a wall at the end of it. I struggled to remove the zip-tie that McKenney had placed on my throttle (he is such a kidder, my pal...). Before I could remove it, all the lights went out, as I slammed into the wall at just over 275 knots.
I must admit, I was a bit dazed at the impact, and thought that perhaps I had lost my liver. I immediately began to feel very warm, and it was hard to move, since the water was very thick at this depth.
The next thing I know, I am forcefully blown out of the 75' deep hole that my impact bore into the granite face of the cave. Everything was black, and even my Bic squeeze light was no help.
It took me a while to realize that I had slammed into a sub-terranian crude oil vent, that was now pushing me out of the cave about as fast as I went in.
I wanted to share this new discovery with my friends, so I restarted the scooter (which had somehow lost the zip-tie) and began my journey out.

Along the way, I stopped at the point where the line and arrows had stopped, and began to remove them inch by inch. I don't like people cluttering up our natural resources...

Upon my exit from the cave system you could imagine the surprise on everyones face when I emerged from the water covered in oil.
Everyone had this dissappointed look on their face, which I didn't understand until I realized that I had interrupted their DAN "mouth-to-mouth" resuscitation training with Buffy. It was really touching to see that the entire WKPP team were willing to help my friends Kato & McKenney contribute to Buffy's diving education...
Mr. Irvine was particularly surprised when I handed him over 2 miles of line and arrows that I had retrieved from the cave system. He simply stared at it, and with a tear in his eye began yelling over and over "SMD! SMD!!!" which I figured must mean "Some Magnificent Diving!". I was truly humbled to receive such a compliment from this wonderful man...
In the parking lot, we passed by several ambulances which were carrying the King/Stone Expedition team to their next phase of training. I was very proud to be in the company of such advanced technical divers, I turned to take one last look at Wakulla and could still see Mr. Irvine running up and down the shore waving his hands wildly in the air and yelling "SMD!!" over and over. I caught his eye, and he gave me both the "are you o.k?" sign and the "check your PO2" sign, which I took as a reminder from him to practice safe diving wherever my travels take me.
Since the shore was now covered almost completely in crude oil, a gentleman from the EPA had arrived. I asked him if he knew Mr. Irvine, and he said that Mr. Irvine was the permit holder for Wakulla.
"He's in it, deeper than you can possibly imagine" said the man from the EPA. It was gratifying to know that our government recognizes the talents of our citizens...
As it turns out, the area in which my scooter impacted the rock was just below land that McKenney had lost to me a month before in a poker game we had played after he had finished polishing my golf clubs. He didn't seem to mind losing it too much, since he called it "swampland" (which he said is Indian for "Good land to build real estate development on"). I knew that he didn't know much about real estate, so losing it wouldn't bother him too much.
Well, I immediately got a call from the folks at Shell Oil, and they want to start drilling the land, and pay me over $12 Billion for the rights to do so. When I told this to McKenney, some of the sushi that Mr. Irvine bought for him must have upset his stomach, because he immediately ran to the side of the road and started throwing up.
I had had a bit too much excitement to continue on to Scotland, so I decided to give Buffy $5.00 for a taxi ride to the nearest youth hostel (my new experiences, I felt, had made us grow apart), and head on home to Bel Air...
Back at my estate, sipping some 200 yr. old brandy, I reflected on the close friendship that formed the bond between McKenney and I. I watched him quietly, as he continued to mow the lawn (friendship is friendship, but he is still working off his poker debt to me. I AM a man of principals, after all...).
Sweating in the 90 degree heat of the sun, I noticed that he continued to mutter "that rotten, stinking, fucking worm..."
It is disturbing that I took him on this vacation to forget his daily battle with the insects that live in my lawn, but he continues to hold a grudge. I think I'll plan a dive to Antarctica this summer, when its nice and warm, to try and get his mind off that silly little worm...


HeyyDudes Bio

Diving with McKenney Part I

Diving with McKenney Part III

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