Sign Language Barrier

Not long ago I had a wonderful adventure.  After getting my scuba certification in December, I finally was able to go on a real dive trip in the waters of Mexico.  Took long enough to get from certification to an actual dive*, but it was absolutely great!

Now, in scuba lessons, I was taught some basic underwater hand signals.  Very basic.

I learned quite a few new ones on this dive trip.  Many involved the actual sea creatures I was seeing**, with lobsters, crabs, barracuda, sea turtles, and nurse sharks*** each having their own hand signal.  Most of these signals were shared with us new divers (there were a few of us, including my best friend who went on the trip with me) while we were getting ready for the dive.

Some hand signals, however, we had to guess at as the first time we saw them was when we were actually underwater.  No asking questions down there.

So, it was with great confusion when our dive leader came swimming up to me and gave me the following sequence (now, you’ll have to use your imagination that this is underwater and in scuba gear and wet suits)…




Okay, the first sign I got…that’s the basic ‘interogatory’, meaning it’s the all around question sign for “Who, What, Where, When…”.

The other two?  I could only guess at and didn’t think he was signing what I thought he was signing.  I gave the dive leader my best underwater dumb bunny look.  He repeated the three signs.  Still confused and not believing what I thought he was saying, I shook my head.  He tried a third time, repeating the three signs.  Not wanting to waste my precious time underwater and guessing he would’ve been much more urgent if a sea monster were coming to eat us, I just gave him the “OK” sign.

Back on the boat, the dive leader came up to me.  He’d figured out that I had no clue what he was doing, so used this as a teaching moment.  What he was saying was:

“Where’s…the fucking…boat.”

Ah!!  Enlightenment.

Then he asked me what I thought he was trying to sign.  Had to be honest that I was very confused by what I thought he was trying to say:

“Want to…fuck…and have a bowl of cereal after?”



*yeah, with the divorce and stuff, things have been a bit hectic.

**…versus the random, slack jawed, brown fish I saw during my certification dives.

***one of my favorites, the nurse shark.  the sign for the shark is putting your hand to your forehead like a shark fin.  the nurse shark?  grab your boobs first, then the shark sign.  yeah, i’m juvenile…


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6 Responses to “Sign Language Barrier”

  1. nursemyra Says:

    that was my interpretation. but i thought it was a bowl of ice cream that was being offered for afters

  2. silverstar98121 Says:

    Looks like “where’s my fucking ice cream” to me, too. Good to know in case I fall overboard on the ferry, so I can ask where the boat is.

  3. mstngsal22 Says:

    Laughed out loud at your interpretation. That’s exactly the code and sequence P and I use on Saturday mornings when the kids are about.

  4. hisqueen Says:

    ummmm…I’d rather not say what I interperated the cupped hands as..

    I would think that Daisy was more popular with the nurse shark hand signals…

    this would have been poetic had you chosen to wear the “F_CK” shirt

  5. beaverboosh Says:

    “Want to…fuck…and have a bowl of cereal after”, yeah that’s one of my favy dive signals as well…

  6. Uncle Keith Says:

    I thought it was want to fuck and then cup each other’s balls.

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