Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Finding Nemo

Got up this morn and went scuba diving with Chris, his uncle Dave, and cousin John.  Was really nice to have time to get to know the guys and diving itself was so much fun!
The rock we swam around
About a 15 min boat ride to the site -- fortunately very calm waters.  We found ourselves at a giant rock we were going to circle around.  Our group was us and 8 Belgians.  So we had our own guide just for us ;)   I was a little stressed -- I *really* don't like masks.  Jumped in first so I could have time to acclimatize myself, but sure enough found myself hyperventilating *sigh*  Definitely not a good start.  Had my breathing under control by the time the guys came in, but was having trouble getting down.  Not good.  And it was Chris' first *real* dive (sorry hon - pond in Ontario just doesn’t count!) so I really didn't want to hold them back with my silliness.  I was disappointed in myself, figured I'd bop around the boat for a bit and hopefully manage the next dive.  But the guide came back.  He literally held my hand until we were down and I'd calmed down.  Thanks to him spending that 10 or 15 mins with me, I got to really enjoy the dive.  The colours weren't anything compared to what I've seen elsewhere, but the quantity!  Wow.  HUGE schools of fish -- just amazing to swim with.  As C said, so many you expect to turn and see the shark chasing them.  He ran out of air fairly quickly, so the guide took him back up, and I rejoined the others.  Numerous sting and manta rays, all the types of fish ;)   Really cool.  It was a rock rather than a reef, so no exciting coral or colours, but a really nice swim with a good variety of critters.  Got down a little below 80ft.  I was impressed how much we could still see.  Most of the diving I've done has been reef diving in the 30-40' range.  The couple deeper ones were so dark I found them uninteresting.  But this wasn't -- I hardly noticed the depth.   I was also happy to discover I still had lots of air left when the other guide signaled us all to start going up.  In the past any time I've been under, I've run out of air a lot faster than anybody else, so this was awesome.

All the pics are credit to Chris -- Ieft my camera on the boat.  We came up, moved a few feet, rested for a while, and then dove again.  Same concept, different rock.  I'd say here there were even *more* fish!   And I was over my temporary insanity, so able to go down with everybody np.  Super happy I *still* managed to end with more air than most.  Awesome.

On return had lunch and hung out by the pool for a bit, but I was wiped.  Eventually gave up and returned to my room.  A nap and some time with my book and I felt human again in time for dinner.  Dinner was Italian, with a decent sized group.  Ran into Aileen while we were waiting and convinced her to get the girls (Kerri, Em and Jen) to join us too which was super nice.  Ended up with one person more than seats -- this was far more difficult to resolve than it should've been; our maitre d' was one of the few non-service-oriented staff I've seen. Ugh.  Finally convinced him to let us put a chair at the end of the table.  I mean really?  Was that all that hard? In the end though had ridiculously tasty lasagna -- that, or I was *really* hungry.  Both are plausible options ;)   Moved to desert at the buffet and socialized there for a bit before turning in early.  I wish I could go to bed so consistently early at home!  Would make life so much easier :)   Clearly I need to relocate.


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