Underwater Engagement in Paradise
By: Robert Weeks
Photography by: Robert Weeks
Date: May 18, 1994
Dive No: 859
Location: “Coral Gardens”, Vanua Levu, Fiji
Depth: 45 ft
Visibility: 60 ft
Conditions: Scattered clouds, rough seas.
First day of sun and we will be diving a Garden: this is the moment. As I prepare for the day's diving, I put the small clam shell in my bathing suit pocket.
As we suit up for the second dive of the day, I again check to make sure the clam shell is secure and not crushed by the weight belt. Suzanne, the dive master and I descend to the bottom of coral rubble and scattered coral heads. We start to roam between the coral heads.
As I find one subject to photograph, my buddy is off to find another. After initially looking very barren, we start to find a menagerie of nudibranchs, sponges and small fish. There is a rainbow of soft corals: pink, yellow, red and purple.
We find a "smiling" scallop with bright blue lips embedded in hard coral.
We find another coral head with a school of 8 to 10 fire fish.
About 45 minutes into the dive, I motion to Suzanne to come over. I hand her the shell and she gives me a look of "what am I supposed to do with this."
Then as the shell opens slightly and the sun glistens off the gold and diamond she begins to understand.
With wide-eyed amazement and joy she opens it the rest of the way and pulls out the ring.