Here there be dragons...

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

I was a fish in a previous life; I dive to visit relatives.

Water day today :).

Chris and I headed over to the dive shop a few properties over after breakfast for our partial day on the water.  We were pretty pleased when we discovered our dive boat was one of the classic style here :).  Getting ready to go was an interesting experience in that nobody seemed to have any idea what was going on, yet somehow everybody was slowly organized with all their required gear.  I’m still not quite certain how that happened, but it was effective at least :)

I neglected to take any pics today, but this one Chris took a couple days ago shows the type of boat I’m talking about in the background

Since I’ve been having so many issues w my ears, my plan was to snorkel the first dive and dive the second (the second dive being the more shallow of the two).  The boat ride out would be about an hour, so we settled in.  We were right at the front of the seating area, and I was very pleased to discover that the design of the boat had the advantageous side effect of sending wake splashes away from the passengers.  Win.

Bigger win, *much* bigger win, on the way we saw whales!!!  Two of them, by size I would guess mother and baby.  Guess also validated by one of the locals who confirmed that whales are normal here from now through November as they come to give birth here.  Awesome.   So the captain cut the engine and we got to watch the two whales for a while.  Was really cool and completely unexpected.  Also a first for me.  I’ve been in whale territory a few times, but always “we saw one here yesterday” or some variant.  But not only did I see these, I saw them first *g*. I’ll trip over a lion in the wild, but apparently she who can only barely swim is set to survive the ocean?   That being said, whales weren’t exactly hard to see ;).  Lol was more that I was looking the right direction at the right time.
Anyways - eventually made it to the first dive site; Chris actually went diving, I stuck to snorkeling.  Was a good sized reef, not a ton of fish.   I managed to lose my group three times *sigh*.  Once the guide noticed and called to me when I popped my head up to look around.  The second time the boat was coming right to me — they redirected me where I should’ve been ;).   The last time I looked up and realized I was all alone :(.  Slightly scary as the main reason I’d looked up in the first place was that I was getting very cold and very tired and wanted to see about going in.   Okay well people can be hard to find, but at least I could see the boat in the distance — it was off picking up divers but I figured if I swam in that general direction it’d probably work out.  And sure enough I found my group and grabbed a floaty to hang on to till the boat came back to us.   Absolute worst case, some of the reef was shallow enough I could’ve stood up.  Would’ve destroyed the reef though so was really trying to avoid that!   I did decide though I’m much better at diving than snorkeling.

Back on the boat we relocated to the second site, but I was done.   I’d tried a mini dive while snorkeling and couldn’t equalize, was also having mask pressure issues, and was so very cold and tired.  I didn’t clue in till much later that the timing from when I took the anti-nausea meds to then was about exactly as long as they take to knock me out.   Fail.  So I opted out entirely.  Not one part of me even remotely wanted to get back in the water.  Chris went, and got to see some very cool fish, but I parked myself in the sheltered front of the boat w a life jacket pillow and just lay there.   Full wetsuit, black, under the equatorial sun, at midday.   And it wasn’t till the last 10 mins or so that I ditched the top half of the wetsuit — just to give an idea of how hot it was.   Just as well as the only thing exposed — the back of my hands — got sunburnt.   Lol took me a while this eve to figure out how I’d done that, but yeah for a good part of today, all of me was protected by 3mm of wetsuit.
Drive back was uneventful.  The whole trip was significantly longer than expected but perfect weather on a nice boat w interesting people — not half bad.  Across from me were two people doing their scuba certification.  The instructor was teaching switching between English and Spanish (I was more entertained than I should’ve been trying to understand the Spanish).  Turns out Student A only speaks Spanish; Student B speaks English, Swahili, Italian, and some Hebrew?!?!  So random.  But apparently Italian is close enough to Spanish that he could understand it well enough to follow even though he couldn’t speak it.   I am loving the variety of languages I get to hear here :).  But yeah, this instructor had two students learning in two different languages.  Credit to her on that one.
After we got back we just spent the afternoon enjoying the beach :). We stuck to the shade today, again getting another beach bed, because well - we both got more than enough sun on the boat.
Tomorrow’s our last day :(.   Our flight leaves at 2am on Monday.

Random awkward hippo art sculpture photo cause it was the only one I took above water today ;) —


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