Particularly our diver, Brett Parker. And he wasn’t diving for used golf balls either.
Brett grew up in the 1970’s in Rhodesia before moving to the states after Rhodesia’s takeover by its long-term despot, Robert Mugabe. Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) is home to the world’s largest man-made lake. Lake Kariba. Lake Kariba is home to a population of huge crocodiles with a penchant for eating tourists (and everything else that moves).
Comparing crocs to alligators, Brett said, “Alligators are pretty relaxed, and most of the time only follow me around when I’m diving. When they do attack a person the story often ends with the person escaping. Not with crocs. They’re like Charles Manson. 99% of the time when they attack a person, you never see that person again."
Anyway, back to the story. A wealthy local had lost his new outboard motor overboard in Lake Kariba in about 30 feet of water. Eager to get it back, he posted a reward for $1,500. Nobody bit for obvious reasons, except for one young man. You guessed it.
“I was dumb and stupid,” said Brett so I went for it. “I didn’t have any equipment, but I could hold my breath for up to five minutes. The water was completely black and the lake bottom was covered with silt so deep I could sink into up to my armpits.” So, Brett spent four to five hours feeling around for the motor with his feet, before finally recovering it and collecting the reward.
Despite the danger, Brett was hooked by this kind of “treasure hunting” - but he wouldn’t find his way into the used golf ball business for several more years. But that’s another story and we'll probably tell it.