It was a hot balmy
day on the outer banks of North Carolina. The day of diving had
been no less than spectacular. The sun baked Atlantic Wreck Divers
were enjoying the air conditioned comfort of the Buckley's motor
home and continuous rounds of exotic, unique, frozen, blended
mixed drinks, courtesy of Ms. Penny Buckley. Gin flowed as freely
as Ron Wallace jokes.
Unknown to Ms. Penny, the blender's main rotor coupler bearing
seal had failed and the special purpose blender lubricant drained
into the all metal housing of the Host Master 3250A commercial
blender. Turning at more than 30,000 rpm, the heat was beginning
to build on the now dry rotor coupler bearing. It should be noted
that the Host Master 3250A is no "sport drinkers"
blender. This is a commercial, heavy duty "technical drinkers"
model intended for continuous service. There were no plastic
parts. Everything was metal. It was manufactured by a subsidiary
of Detroit Diesel and weighed almost 70 pounds. It was indestructible,
or so we all thought.
Suddenly the laughter and gaiety was shattered by a terrifying
explosion. One veteran in the group shouted "incoming"!
Everyone dived for cover. But it was already too late.
When the smoke cleared, it was clear that Ms. Penny had absorbed
the brunt of the explosion. With no regard for personal safety,
she shielded the rest of the group with her body, thus saving
the lives of everyone in the motor home.
It was a ghastly scene. Not unlike that of a Beirut car bombing.
Ice, frozen fruit, and Bombay Gin covered the walls, furniture,
floor and occupants of the motor home. Small pieces of jagged
metal shrapnel from the Host Master 3250A were stuck randomly
If not for the quick action, quick thinking, and slurred speech
of Dr. Paul Buckmiester, AWD club member and founder of the
Home Surgery Network, Ms. Penny's
survival would have been questionable. Using conventional hand
tools, fishing line, neoprene cement, dental floss, a 30' piece
of sisal line, a frozen Margarita hastily prepared in the auxiliary
blender, and some exotic mixed gas that happened to be on hand,
Dr. Buckmiester managed the impossible.
For those of us present on that day, we owe our lives to Ms.
Penny. Her scar is a symbol of sacrifice. I can only hope that
the incident does not make her "Blender Shy" as she
has the uncanny ability to mix almost anything with gin to produce
a really, really good drink!