I held tightly onto the rope and the hand of the lady next to me. Looking down, I saw a small soldierfish gazing quizzically back up at me from a couple of metres below.
Turning to my right, I could see in the far distance woman after woman, holding one another’s hands to form a chain along a line strung between three buoys, extending further than I could see.
I was taking part in a Guinness World Records attempt, on International Women’s Dive Day in July.
The record was for the longest female scuba chain, and the event was organised by Divetech, a company in the far west of Grand Cayman Island, owned and run almost exclusively by women.
It was a second attempt. The previous year a line of 87 women had been attempted, but the record wasn’t upheld because the strict GWR guidelines had not been met. This time, nothing was to go wrong.
Check after check was made both before and on the day to ensure that this time round the world record would be official.
Arriving early that Saturday morning, I had managed to park my car near the dive-centre and carry my equipment to my assigned group’s official set-up space in the dive-centre.
Women dressed in fluorescent pink tops were busy setting up tanks, checking participant lists and ensuring that everyone had enough weights before getting down to organising the groups as they arrived.
This year 120 women had signed up to take part, paying the KY $25 entrance fee that was to be donated to the Cayman Breast Cancer Foundation.
Men were allowed to attend the event, but only as support staff of course.
My dive-buddy Maria and I set up our tanks and waited while Julia from Divetech’s staff briefed us on how the event was to unfold.
Most important was that we had to continue holding hands for the duration of the record attempt. Three videographers, two men and a woman, would be filming along the 100m-long line three times over, using underwater scooters to help them move along it quickly.