Yiannis The Sponge Diver - A Gay Diver's Story

Info JTW2019
19 Feb. '19
Yiannis The Sponge Diver - A Gay Diver's Story

„Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now approaching Diagoras airport. Will you please return to your seat, and make sure that your seat belt is securely fastened.”

Daniel dries his hands and opens the door of the lavatory. As he leaves the small portside cabinet, a tall, dark-haired Greek boy is just stepping out of the starboard restroom. He blinks at Daniel with his beautiful, brown eyes, before he turns to the passenger compartment and heads back for his seat.

As Daniel walks behind him along the aircraft’s aisle, he watches the boy’s sleek, sexy back. He is wearing a rugged diver’s watch, and a heavy steel chain attached to his belt loop.  On his white T-shirt, there is a big blue diving helmet logo. The title reads “Aegean Sponge Diving Center, Mandraki Harbour.”

Daniel gets excited. “That’s awesome”, he thinks, “I must absolutely visit that diving center.”

Shortly after Daniel has taken his window seat again, the aeroplane turns to its final approach heading, while the wing flaps are extending. Peering down to the beautiful blue sea, Daniel tries to imagine generations of hard hat sponge divers, walking on the sea floor in their heavy iron boots. What about the boy? Could it be a realistic idea that he is an indigenous sponge diver? Daniel remembers a chapter in his tourist guide book, depicting the still-existing trade of sponge diving. Thousands of young men have been working in this profession over decades, and even nowadays, there are still a few left. The boy should look beautiful in a traditional hard hat diving rig, cladded in a heavy copper breastplate and a huge brass helmet. Daniel’s bulge grows involuntarily at this concept. Come on, he says to himself, that’s an unreal fantasy.

Anyway, Daniel can still feel his slightly stiffened cock when the airplane decelerates on the runway, with the pilots applying considerable reverse thrust and the tourists clapping their hands for applause, looking forward to some sunny holiday time.

--

On the airside bus, Daniel gets near the boy, who is just telephoning to someone in clear, accentless language: “Yeah, here’s Yiannis speaking. We arrived some minutes ago, I will be there soon. I just have to pick up my luggage. I also got the two Vikings, some O-rings, valves and seals, and some brass parts for the helmets, so don’t worry!”

On the one hand, Daniel is slightly disappointed. According to his accent, the boy seems to be a middle European native, not a Greek diver. But on the other hand, he seems to have talked about a famous rubber drysuit brand, and some material which might be part of diving equipment.

At the baggage claim area, the boy grabs his backpack from the conveyor belt. He also takes up a huge transport bag, branded with a yellow company logo named “Scandinavian Diving Equipment.” When they have passed the border control, the boy shortly blinks at Daniel again, moving his luggage trolley, before each one heads to a different direction.

--

On the following day, Daniel gets off the bus near Mandraki harbour. Enjoying the Aegean sun, he is curious but also slightly nervous at the same time while he heads down the harbour quay. Dozens of yachts and tourist boats are waiting for passengers. Some belong to commercial tour operators, some to scuba dive schools.

In the distance, Daniel can spot another diving boat, and a huge booth full of sponges on the quay.  A billboard shows the title “Natural Sponges” in several languages, as well as the logo of the Aegean Sponge Diving Center. But the most exciting detail for Daniel is a young man, sitting on a wooden bench behind the stand. He seems to be a black-haired lad around 20 years, wearing a heavy rubber diving suit, and a shimmering copper breastplate, with a solid brass neckring. As he gets closer, Daniel senses an electrifying flash: That’s Yiannis, the boy from the aeroplane!

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Part 2

Daniel is a little nervous while he approaches the diving boat. A blackboard at the berth shows a clock and a time table: “Sponge Diving Boat Trips – Monday to Friday 10 A.M. Watch our diver working in the traditional sponge harvesting equipment.”

The young diver blinks at Daniel over his massive neckring:

“Hi. Do you like sponges?”

Daniel removes his sunglasses, and laughs at him.

“Yeah.  We might already know each other’s from the flight yesterday.”

“Oh yeah. Welcome to our diving centre! I’m Yiannis!”

The boy is grinning just lovely, but his handshake is surprisingly strong. He looks incredibly hot in his heavy diving gear, with his beautiful skin color contrasting the rough, tarnished metal of the breastplate and its multiple brass nuts. His rugged, well worn diving suit evaporates a distinctive rubber smell under the burning sun. When he moves his body, some fittings on his rig give off a metallic, clanging sound.

“Is that gear just for posing? Or do you actually dive?” Daniel asks.

Yiannis laughs: ““I really dive. I will prove it on our tour. Departure will be in about a quarter of an hour, so you should embark now.”

He tears off a colorful coupon from a ticket booklet, and gives it to Daniel. Daniel gazes at the ticket: The front side shows the white-and-blue painted sponge diving boat named “M/V Kouros”, carrying the Greek flag on its tail. The back of the ticket features a photo of four young sponge divers, posing side by side in full gear, each one holding the enormous copper helmet in his hands.

“That’s you in the center!” Daniel is amazed.

“Yeah”, Yiannis replies, “me and my diving mates. Nikolas, Alex and Stefanos. Really cool guys!”

 --

When the “M/V Kouros” pulls out of the harbour, Yiannis explains his personal background to Daniel and some other tourists. He sits on a bench at the working deck, very relaxed in his heavy diving rig, next to a compressor and holding his slightly scratched copper helmet on his lap:

“I’m son of a sponge diver’s family, although my parents have been living in Germany for decades. The diving centre is run by my uncle. My father works as a computer engineer in Hamburg. But as a boy, he was a sponge diver, too. I also made my first dives here from the boat at age 15. Since then, I’ve always been working as a sponge diver during the summer holidays. That’s our family tradition. A boy must be a sponge diver! Nobody of my German classmates ever believed me when I talked about that.”

Looking at his beautiful white teeth, his eyes and his smile, Daniel gets tingly all over. That boy must have spent hundreds of hours inside diving helmets!

--

At the small on-board snack bar, Daniel buys a cup of coffee. Besides some tourist brochures on the island, he also takes a small leaflet with him, which powers up his excitement:

“Special offer for certified scuba divers: Try a helmet dive in our sponge diving equipment. A once-in-a-lifetime-experience. Ask our divers for further information.”

Some years ago, Daniel got certified as an open water scuba diver, although he is not very experienced in scuba. The idea of trying a heavy dive like Yiannis makes him so excited that he almost spills his coffee while he returns to the diving deck. But he doesn’t dare to ask Yiannis, or one of his tenders, who have already started to prepare him for his dive.

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Part 3

Watching the young diver getting ready is really a blast for Daniel. After stepping into solid brass boots and donning heavy weights to his breastplate, his mates place the huge helmet over his head. The airtight, spun copper helmet locks onto the neck flange. Daniel imagines the smell inside as a mixture between rubber and metal. Obviously no problem for Yiannis, whose awesome wide grinning is visible through the round portholes of the helmet.

The tenders put the thick, black rubber air hose into the diver’s hands, as well as a special trident-shaped fork for harvesting the sponges. Moments later, he jumps into the water in his clumsy gear. After his helmet has submerged, venting a huge swall of bubbles from an exhaust valve on the right, only some minor bubbles on the surface allow the viewers to follow the diver’s path on the bottom.

Daniel, who had been fighting against a hardon all the time since he first saw the boy this morning, tries to hide his bulge. Such a horny show! 

--

After the diver has been down for about half an hour, he sends up some baskets filled with sponges. Captain Manolis of the M/V Kouros, a former sponge diver as well, explains the different species and sizes of sponges to the tourists. Suddenly, a strange creature floats on the surface. It looks like a fully inflated Michelin man, floating on his back, his legs and arms spread-eagled, wearing shimmering brass boots and a reddish shimmering copper helmet. The tourists start laughing.

“Yiannis has inflated his suit, in order to return to the surface”, Captain Manolis explains, while the tenders pull the diver to a ladder at the ship’s bow.

Full of fascination, Daniel glimpses at the cute, concentrated face and the black hair of Yiannis behind the portholes of the helmet. Finally, the diver climbs up onto the deck, assisted by two tenders who try to support him in his heavy rig. When they have removed the helmet, his face appears laughing, but also slightly exhausted. His hair seems to be wet from sweat as well.

“That’s really hard work”, Yiannis explains to the tourists, who have taken tons of photos all the time.

Another boy asks some questions about the air supply, so he explains the helmet valve to him. After laying the helmet down to the bench, Yiannis sniffs at his fingers, as if he likes the inevitable smell of copper and brass on his hands. The Captain gives him a cigarette, and he starts smoking over his massive neck flange. Watching this cool lad in his heavy armor smoking is almost too horny for Daniel. He cannot avoid a new rush of blood into his crotch, as Yiannis starts blinking at him.

Now or never, he thinks, his palms getting sweaty and his heartbeat increasing. He steps forward to Yiannis and shows him the leaflet from the snack bar:

“What about that diving experience?” he asks.

Yiannis sends him an encouraging smile: “No problem, man. If you’d like to try it, we can do it on the second diving run. It will be this afternoon, after the lunch break. We are going to suit up together, and have some fun down there.” He runs his cute helmet diver’s hand over Daniel’s shoulder, who gets almost on the edge in this moment.

While the boat is sailing towards the bay of Kallithea for a lunch break and some beach time for the tourists, Daniel is giddy with excitement.

After the ship has dropped anchor near the beach and an ancient thermal bath, Yiannis, who is now out of his diving gear, jumps off the ship and swims to the shore. Although quite skinny in his speedo, he is a natural in the water. Daniel follows him, but he cannot swim nearly as fast as the boy. Yiannis waits for him on the beach:

“Are you already excited about your upcoming dive?” he asks.

Daniel can’t hide his feelings: “Yeah. Cannot wait any longer for it, man!”

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Part 4

“Let’s have a look at the ancient thermal bath”, Yiannis suggests to Daniel. “It’s an enchanted ruin. It’s still a kind of adventure to explore these buildings. But they will be refurbished soon. So that’s one last opportunity.”

“Okay”, Daniel nods, “I love ruins.”

He could be my young Greek god, Daniel contemplates, following Yiannis on an old pathway leading up to the ruins, partially overgrown with sere vegetation. When Daniel watches the sleek, almost naked body of Yiannis in his swimming trunks, he would judge it as almost unbelievable that this lad regularly dives in full rubber suits and heavy diving helmets. But he has seen him in the gear less than an hour ago!

They enter a circular agora, which forms the center of the abandoned Mediterranean bath. Everything is full of wild, colorful flowers. The roof has partially collapsed, giving an amazing view of the blue sky above the flowered vegetation. The ruins are also home of a colony of Greek cats, some dozing in the sun, some approaching the two young men with warm, purring signs of welcome. Yiannis knees down to a big male cat in a sandy, tabby coat. A few moments later, he holds him on his arms:

“We call him Tom”, he explains to Daniel, while tabby Tom nudges his fluffy head against Yiannis’ cheek.

“That’s so cute”, Daniel thinks, “our cool diver is also a cat lover.”

Tom blinks at Daniel with a happy, relaxed expression in his eyes.

--

Yiannis points to an old staircase to the upper floor of the ruin:

“We will have a good view into the bay from there”, he says, “but be careful. There is no handrail at the stairs any more.”

He is a prudent, responsible guy, Daniel contemplates, maybe that’s one of his skills as a diver. His view rests on Yiannis’ beautifully shaped hands, which can pet kitties, but also have been working on heavy metal diving helmets many times, despite their youthful appearance.

On the upper floor, there is a corridor leading to old shower and locker rooms. There are no window panes left, but the empty windows offer an amazing view over the bay with its blue, clear water.

Yiannis points Daniel to an ancient brass key which he is wearing on his necklace:

“I picked up that key from the seafloor during my first helmet dive, over there in the bay. I was 15, and still overwhelmed when I walked on the bottom. That’s also the spot where we will dive together. Can you see that yellow buoy? At that point, there is a small underwater cave. We won’t go inside, but we might have a look into its entrance.”

“Can’t wait for it, man.” Daniel is getting more and more excited as his dive approaches. But at the same time, Yiannis provides a new sensation of safety and relaxation to him. 

“My first helmet dive and yours on the same spot, isn’t that lovely?” Yiannis runs his warm hand over Daniel’s shoulder, and down on his spine.

“Yeah”, Daniel replies, gazing into Yiannis’ friendly eyes. He hasn’t shaved today, which gives him an even more erotic appearance.

“Maybe you will also find your own helmet diver’s talisman on the bottom, if you look for it”, Yiannis proposes, “an old Drachma coin made from copper, or something like that.”

“It will remind me of you for the years to come, brother”, Daniel answers, stubbing his fingers against Yiannis’ sexy stomach. His heart beat increases remarkably.

Suddenly, they are holding each other’s hands. Daniel gets tingly all over, but Yiannis keeps his coolness.

“Oh diver. That’s so horny”, Daniel moans, “we both together under water, bolted and locked in those incredible diving helmets.”

They both look at their bulges and start to laugh. Only seconds later, they hug each others, enjoying long, passionate kisses. It’s pure diver’s love, leading up to a massive orgasm.

--

When they have relaxed for a few moments, they look at their swimming trunks.

“That’s quite a mess”, Daniel worries.

“No matter”, Yiannis replies, “we’ll swim back to the boat, everything will be washed away.”

On their way down the pathway, a distant jet noise makes them look upwards. A large airliner is passing by above the bay, following the approach route between the islands, before turning towards the airport. Daniel recognizes the tail logo of a familiar airline.

“Do you remember?” he asks, “twenty-four hours ago, we were travelling together on the same flight, without knowing each others.”

“And now we are about to become diving mates.”  Yiannis kneads the shoulders of Daniel with his cute hands, before kissing his left ear:

“Let’ s return to the boat, my friend. The boys are waiting to suit us up!”

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Part 5

Since his incredible moments with Yiannis, Daniel had a relaxed time, but now, preparing for the dressing ritual, his excitement starts to grow again. Just wearing his swimming trunks and a T-shirt, he is about to be suited up. He is also admired by the tourists: the young guy next door becoming a sponge diver.

His tender will be Nikolas, a great looking, rather slender university student in his early 20s, wearing rimless glasses, a leather wristband and a bunch of keys on a neck lanyard. Daniel has already seen him as the ship’s agile, multilingual tourist guide, and behind the counter of the snack bar. Now he connects the helmet to the air hose for Daniel’s upcoming dive, tightening the pressure fittings with heavy tools in a proficient, skilled way. Daniel almost gets on the edge when Nikos explains that he has been diving the sponge gear hundreds of hours since his teens.

He helps him to don the heavy rubber suit, the boots and the breastplate. Everything is much heavier and fits tighter then Daniel expected. The worn diving suit smells of pure rubber and of many hours of youthful diver’s work. Daniel rubs his bearded chin on the neck flange while Nikos screws the sealing nuts onto the breastplate, using a brass wrench. He can also smell the harsh damp of the tarnished metal, evaporating from the flanges and from Nikos’ hands. When he is holding the awesome helmet on his lap for some tourist pictures, his own hands are giving off a metal scent, too. That’s part of the every-day life of the boys, he thinks, and looks down to his wonderful brass boots, with his bulge having grown to the max.

Yiannis is blinking at him over his neck flange, holding the sponge fork in his hands: “This gear is for real boys, not for pussies, eh?”

After he has been sealed in the quite claustrophobic helmet, Daniel inhales a stale mixture of rubber, copper and sea water odors. The air flow from the compressor starts, creating a constant hiss, and he can also feel the rising suit pressure in his ears. With heavy-weight steps, he moves towards the bow. Everything is overwhelmingly heavy. As the sun is burning merciless on his suit, it is getting hot inside. Sweat is already running down on Daniel’s face, whose breathing is heavy in his metal confinement. The small portholes restrict his view, as well as the thick, scratched glass. On his sweaty skin, he feels the rugged, pure rubber. Using gestures and hand signs, Nikos leads him to the ladder, and instructs him to use the helmet valve to control the amount of air in his suit. Despite of all struggle, Daniel is really in heaven in his airtight armor. Finally, it’s time for the plunge.

--

Slowly sinking down, Daniel holds the rubber air hose in his hands. “Am I dreaming, or is this real?” he asks himself, doing his first, bumbling steps on the bottom. He feels quite helpless in the clumsy gear, which is horny in a certain way, too. He remembers the calm voice of Nikos, instructing him: “You need some practice in using the helmet valve, until you get your buoyancy under control. Press your cheek against that brass button to vent some air. You must always keep the right amount of air in your suit. That’s really necessary for an effortless walk, without stumbling.” For an instant, Daniel must also think of all the Greek boys, who learned this early in their life.

Yiannis is waiting for him on the rocky bottom, providing an incredible sight in his suit. When he moves, giving off swalls of bubbles, it looks like a slow motion scene. Although they cannot talk to each other’s, Daniel understands every message his mate sends him with signs and gestures. In the twilight, he can also see portions of Yianni’s beautiful face inside the helmet.

“Follow me”, Yiannis signalizes, and they start a wonderful, bizarre procession on the bottom of the sea. Some fish and some algae are passing by. Daniel starts to appreciate his surroundings, peering through the small portholes of his diving helmet. While the dressing procedure on the ship is really a man’s world, walking through the underwater scenery gives inspiration for dreams and fantasy, he contemplates.

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Part 6

Yiannis is playing with some fish, grinning deliciously in his helmet. Boys will be boys, even under water, Daniel thinks. In the meantime, he has adapted to his diving rig, enjoying its clumsiness and its rubbery damp.  

A rusty sponge basket is lowered down to the bottom from the ship. Yiannis shows how to collect sponges using his fork, and Daniel also starts to try it. He works not as quickly as his skilled mate, of course, but he enjoys it very much being an underwater working man. After some time, they have filled up their basket with sponges. It’s a great sight to watch it slowly being hoisted back to the surface, where the hulk of the diving vessel can be seen as a large, black shape. Daniel is even slightly disappointed that they don’t lower the basket for a second time.

Yiannis points to his diving watch: Now it’s time for the excursion to the underwater cave! The divers descend a sloped, sandy area, getting deeper and deeper. The light is becoming faint, and everything is turning into green. Daniel also feels the rising pressure of the cold water on his skin through his rubber suit. So far, it has been a fun dive. But now, it seems to turn into something more serious. It’s a strange, new kind of joy for Daniel, whose cock stiffens when encountering the horny sensations of a deeper dive. 

In the dusk, they can finally spot the black hole of the cave. Yiannis wears a rugged military depth gauge on his wrist, featuring a fluorescent dial. He points it to the porthole of Daniel’s helmet: 25 meters! They slowly proceed into the entrance of the cave. A school of fish comes out, heading to the exit. It’s the hell of an adventure for Daniel. He picks up a beautiful mussel as a souvenir, but suddenly, Yiannis grabs his arm and stops him. Don’t go any further, he signalizes, that’s becoming too dangerous.

--

When they step out of the cave into slightly brighter surroundings, Yiannis finds an underwater blackboard, with a water-proved pen attached on a cord. Daniel already knows that the cave is a frequent destination for scuba diving trips. Probably one of the scuba instructors forgot it down here.

 Yiannis puts the board on a big rock, and starts to write. Then he gives it to Daniel.

“Do YOU want to become a sponge DIVER?” it reads, written in a clear handwriting by Yiannis.

“YES!” Daniel writes back, excited, his cock stiffening. He sketches two diving helmets, blowing bubbles, and adds a fish and a heart symbol, as well as the initials “D & Y”. Then he returns the board to his mate, curious on how he will react. Yiannis’ wide grinning inside the helmet looks very erotic while he writes. His beautiful brown eyes shimmer at Daniel through the porthole when he hands over the board to him. Cladded into the massive helmet, their magic appearance is even stronger.

Yiannis’ new question on the board is a blast of fun for Daniel: “Do you want to MARRY me?”

“YES!!” Daniel replies, trying to get a more convenient position in his rig, because his hardon is fully erected now.

Yiannis’ white teeth appear behind the glass when he passes his answer to Daniel: “Really?”

“YES!!!” Daniel writes again. His bulge is now so massive that he almost can’t stand upright in his suit. When he vents air with his helmet valve, he gets on the edge, leaking some drops of precum with a joyful moan.

The proposal of Yiannis makes it even worse: “Shall we WANK OFF together now?”

“YES!!!!”

Only seconds later, he feels his cock being grasped by Yiannis through the rubber suit. Their helmets clank together while they look into each other’s faces. Yiannis’ beautiful eyes, his smile, his unshaven Mediterranean skin, even his sweat-soaked black hair, confined in heavy brass – that’s too horny for Daniel. They feel a joyful shake running through their rubber-covered bodies, before they shoot passionate, long lasting loads into their suits.

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Part 7

When Daniel finally returns to the boat, Nikos helps him getting over the ship’s side. Through his helmet’s porthole, Daniel can see that Nikos has put on a rugged black boilersuit in the meantime. A diver’s patch and a number of heavy-duty brass zippers are shimmering in the sun, giving some roughness to his intellectual appearance.

He takes off Daniel’s helmet, and the tourists clap their hands. Daniel is very proud, although he feels exhausted now, and glad to breathe fresh air.

“Here we have our boy-next-door again”, Nikos states, “finally turned into a real diver. Any proposals of marriage?” 

The tourists start to laugh. Yiannis, standing on deck in his suit and breastplate, tries to object: “As far as I know, he is already committed to someone else.”

“Certainly to you”, Nikos giggles, “he always catches the young divers before I can. Don’t know how he manages this under water.”

After he has stowed the helmets and air hoses, Nikos points at the right hand of Daniel:

“You have a small injury there, brother. Maybe you’ve cut yourself on a sharp mussel.”

“Damn”, Daniel replies, licking some blood from the back of his hand.

“Hold on, boy”, Nikos says, “we should treat that correctly, to avoid an infection.”

From a small first aid locker, he fetches a disinfectant and some adhesive plaster. Daniel, still in his gear, enjoys it very much as Nikos opens his wrist zippers, rolls up his boilersuit sleeves and starts to care for the small injury with a calm, cute tenderness:

“Ok, brother… that lotion might feel a bit like burning … now, that will do. With that watertight plaster, you could even return into the water… Hope you have enjoyed your dive, anyway.”

“Indeed”, Daniel replies. The smiling in Nikos’ face is heart-warming.

--

“Would you mind to keep your diving gear on for some time?” Nikos then asks the two divers.

“No problem”, Yiannis nods, “but why?”

“The Captain told me that we need some new group photos for our web page”, Nikos explains, “I will also suit up, and we will take some pictures with all three of us in the gear. We could also introduce Daniel in the dressing procedure, if he is interested.”

“Absolutely.” Daniel’s excitement starts to grow again.

--

For Daniel, it turns out to be big fun as he and Yiannis tighten the breastplate nuts on Nikos’ rig, using two T-wrenches. Because they still wear their own diving suits and breastplates, their movements are restricted, but this just adds some more horny joy to the boys. The sight of great-looking Nikos in full gear is amazing, just like that of Yiannis. My horny Greek dive brothers, Daniel thinks as he peeks at the cute faces of his two mates in their neck rings, one sitting on the wooden diving chest and the other one standing in his gear. He enjoys a new hardon.

A few minutes later, all three divers are posing for the cameras, sitting side by side in their suits, with Daniel in the center, then standing with the helmets in their hands, and finally with the helmets on. Although Daniel has already jacked off twice today, he gets on the edge quickly again when they all are sealed in their helmets.

From the tourist’s point of view, the three boys just have fun, posing in their awesome diving equipment. When they are standing on deck in full gear, holding each other’s by their hands, they seem to laugh inside their airtight helmets. But from the outside, nobody notices the hot flash of joy that runs through the three divers at this moment. Each one jerks upwards in his steamy helmet at the same time, while they all shoot additional loads of cum. 

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Part 8

After the divers have undressed, they jump into the water in their speedos and swim around the boat to get rid of their sweat and all their other juices. Then, the M/V Kouros lifts anchor and starts her trip home. Nikos cleanses the diving suits, flushing their interior with a water hose, before hanging them on a clothes line on deck for drying.

Meanwhile, Daniel is relaxing on the boat’s bow, enjoying the sun and the warm wind, as he watches the island’s coast passing by. “It’s incredible what I have experienced today” he contemplates. “I still can’t believe it.” The only proof of his adventure, besides of his hand plastering, are two pressure marks on his shoulders, caused by the weight of the breastplate.

Yiannis appears on the bow, giving a foil-wrapped textile package to Daniel:

“Take this, my friend. You have to wear it in the future when you are diving with us. I think it should fit to your size.”

The first piece in the package is a T-shirt of the Aegean Sponge Diving Center, identical to that Yiannis wore on the plane yesterday. The second piece is a black boiler suit, from the same horny type Nikos was wearing under his diving rig. It also features the same diving helmet badge an the massive zippers on the chest, the wrists and the several pockets.

“Many thanks, man! That’s awesome!” Daniel is so excited that he puts the on the shirt immediately.

“Those things are strictly reserved for members of the diving crew. No tourist will ever get them”, Yiannis explains, running his hand along Daniel’s back. “You are welcome to dive with us whenever you like.”

Without worrying about the tourists, they give each other’s a long, intense hug.

--

Some relaxed time passes, until Nikos teams up to Daniel and Yiannis on the bow.

“Boys, I’d like to talk about an idea. As I already said to Yiannis, I will spend a student exchange year overseas, beginning in winter term. That means that we will have to find at least one new diver, for the tourist trips during the holidays.”

“I’ve already thought about that”, Yiannis replies, pointing at Daniel, “couldn’t we offer this to my new man?”

“That’s exactly my idea. Daniel, would you like to work for us as a demonstration diver during your semester break?” Nikos asks.

“Of course I would!” Daniel’s level of excitement rises.

“You will enjoy extensive diving, free accommodation near the Marina, and some great time on our holiday island!” Yiannis laughs, while he and Nikos put their arms around Daniel.

Before he disembarks the M/V Kouros in the early evening, Daniel peeks at himself in the mirror of the onboard cloakroom: an average-built guy of 25 years, blond hair and a chin beard, wearing a rugged black boilersuit with heavy brass zippers, and a diving helmet badge. “May I introduce myself: Daniel, helmet diver at the Aegean Sponge Diving Center!”

--

Yiannis, the Sponge Diver – Epilogue

On Daniel’s last evening before leaving the island, his is sitting together with Yannis and Nikos in a café at Nea Agora, near Mandraki Harbour.

They have just returned from another exciting, meanwhile exhausting day of diving. Daniel has been in the suit throughout the day, performing one dive with Nikos and one with Yiannis. He feels the pressure marks of the breastplate on his shoulders, and can still smell some scents of the diving gear, rubber on his skin and some brass on his hands. As the summer nears its end, the temperature considerably falls after sunset. Each of the divers wears his black jumpsuit, and Daniel also a hooded sweatshirt underneath.

The waiter brings some beer for the divers:

“Hi Nikos. Still around here? I thought that you have already left for Australia, to become a pearl diver!”

“I will leave at end of the month. Tomorrow, we will do our last sponge trip for this season. By the way, that’s Daniel, the guy who will dive my helmet on the ‘Kouros’ next season, while I’m abroad.” He points at Daniel.

“You are welcome”, the waiter laughs at Daniel, “I have also been a sponge diver on the ‘Kouros’, when I was as young as you. Your beer will be free tonight, my friend!”

After some beer, Yiannis hugs Daniel, then putting a little card box into his hands:

“I made this in our machine shop. Don’t open it now – keep it until you are on your way home.”

--

“Ladies and Gentlemen, as unexpected turbulence may occur at any time, you are obliged to keep your seat belt fastened. This also applies when the fasten seat belt signs have been switched off.”

As the aircraft turns over the island, Daniel looks down to the coast line. There are the ruins of the ancient thermal bath, and the blue water of Kallithea bay, where everything started weeks ago. In spite of the altitude, he can even distinguish the varying depths of the water by its beautiful colors. There must be the cave, and in some distance, the blue-and-white shape of the “M/V Kouros”. Yiannis or Nikos might be suited up for the season’s final dive right now. But soon, the wings cut through the cloud base. The window view turns foggy, while the flaps retract.

Daniel takes the little box Yiannis gave him, and starts to open it.

It contains a cool necklace with a mussel, exactly that one which Daniel took from the underwater cave on his very first dive. Fastened to the necklace is also a punched copper coin with some printings in Greek. Daniel knows that these coins are issued to every active diver of the Sponge Center. He can read his name in Latin characters, and his diver number: #257. When Daniel flips it to the back side, he can see sketches of two diving helmets, some bubbles, a fish and a little heart. Then there is an inscription: “D & Y Summer 2013”.

--

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