Monday, August 11, 2008

Ending on a high note

OK. This is it. The last vacation post.

Sure, I have been back for more than a week now (boo!), but it takes a while to do these posts.

Plus it is good subject matter. Especially on days when I can't come up with another topic.

The last full day of vacation, Friday, was a dive day.

The plan originally was to dive Thursday. That way there would be no question about the diving-flying thing.

But then the weather was bad and a volcano on a nearby island erupted sending ash into the sky and down into the water which messed with visibility.

Or so said the woman at the dive shop.
Anyway, she hooked me up with another shop that had a boat going out Friday morning.

The dives would be done well before noon. The flight back was not until 12:45 p.m. Saturday.

OK. More than 24 hours between diving and flying. Perfectly acceptable.

The dive shop was called St. Thomas Diving Club and they are based at Bolongo Bay Beach Club, which was the neighboring resort, so it was close.
They had their own boat that was docked right there at the resort.

It was a fairly small group, six of us total and two guides (one for each dive).

The first place we headed was a site called Cow Rock, above.

Date: 8/1/08
Max depth: 40 feet
Bottom time: 50 minutes

This was my 10th dive to date.

The guide had told us that there would be a few swim throughs on this dive. They were through some small tunnels and such in the rock.

Before that the only swim through I had done was swimming through the little hole in the ship earlier in the week.

I was worried about staying off the bottom as well as not bumping myself or my gear into the roof or sides.

I spent so much time and effort worrying about not scraping that I pretty much missed the best thing.

As I came out of the first swim through, a nurse hark swam right up the middle of our group and right by my face. All I saw was a blur of tail as I looked up.

Luckily one of the other guys on the dive got video of the shark.

You will see the shark go by a guy. That was the guy in front of me.
After it goes by him you can barely see it go straight back.

That was when it went by me, just as I came out of the tunnel. If you slow it way down, you see my arms and that is about it.

As for the rest of that dive... a couple more swim throughs, lots and lots of amazing fish and coral and some huge tarpon that were swimming above us in groups.

Here are the tarpon, above.

It was pretty cool.

But I still can't believe I pretty much missed that shark entirely.

As for the second dive... it was good. But the first one was better.

For the second dive we went to a place called Armando's Reef.
This was at the request of one of the other divers. It was her 100th dive and that was where she wanted to go.

Date: 8/1/08
Max depth: 45 feet
Bottom time: 45 minutes

This dive offered a lot of rock formation and coral. There were some large crevices to swim into and through.

Another diver pointed out an eel right at the start of the dive.

Then coming around one rock formation there was a break in the rocks with another nurse shark resting there in the sand. It looked to be about 5 feet long. This was my third shark of the week.

This time I managed to get pictures of it. Finally!

The other thing to note about this dive was that it was surgier than any of the others.
At some points I could feel a current pushing against me. It was not too bad until it was time to surface.

The closer I got the the surface the worse it got. It was starting to make me a little queasy. But we surfaced and got back on the boat shortly, so I was OK.

I had contemplated taking seasick medication before the dives while I was there, but it can cause drowsiness so I passed.

I guess it is just something I will have to play by ear from now on. I never thought I was prone to seasickness, but it seems that I can be.

Anyway, there you go. That was my dive vacation. I got in six dives for the week.
I feel pretty good about that.

The only problem now is that the next time I go diving I won't have 85-degree water. I think I got a little spoiled.


ReesePie said...

You can go on and on with these posts as long as you want... I'm totally enjoying them.

Jill said...

Trust me, I wish I had at least a week more of these pictures to post.
For now, back to real life.

Pamela said...

Sharks! Fish! Awesome!

What a killer vacation!