Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gardening and Diving

Cruise ship days on an island are interesting times—and full of amusing sights. I love to cruise, but when we do, we rarely get off the ship unless it’s for a specific tour activity—never just to shop. Today I had a visual reminder of just why that is. 

So we were having breakfast on a little balcony across from the water when a catamaran full of cruise ship tourists pulled up to the beach. The last ones off were an American family of size (casting no stones here—the woman was my size, which is to say, Of Size) consisting of mother, father and an older teenage son. They got halfway up the beach before the first hawker nabbed them, trying to sell them a hammock. They deliberated a bit and then took a step backwards towards the boat and the water. Then a woman drifted over to them proffering an armload of jewelry. They took another step back. Then two large, determined-looking Caribbean women strode towards them from the road carrying bags of stuff, and the family fled back to the safety of the water next to the catamaran. There they huddled, waist-deep in the surf, holding the hawkers at bay. We left before the catamaran did so I don’t know if they ever got out of the water.

On the way back to our condo I checked out the plants blooming and going to seed along the road. There was a mandevilla-looking thing that was just gorgeous, and also some kind of sweet pea that was the most beautiful blue I have seen in a flower. I also saw what looked like some variety of bleeding heart, and some big peachy hydrangea-like flowers with a big yellow star in the center. It's spring so no matter where I go, I can't stop thinking about gardening. I'd put the pictures here, but as exciting as they were, flowers don't stand up to sea life for interest.

This afternoon we went to Sun Divers for a little diving refresher course (this is your regulator, this is your BCD, this is the signal for "I'm out of air!", this is the signal for "Can I share your air?", this is the signal for "Screw you, I have good life insurance on you..."). It really is just like riding a bicycle and it all came right back. After about 15 minutes of review underwater, we hopped on the boat, cruised out about two minutes from shore and had a great wall dive. We went down 65 feet and then worked our way slowly back up during the course of the 45 minute dive. I was kicking myself for not bringing my GoPro camera as we were really lucky and saw tons of fish from a large school of blue tang, to a barracuda, smooth trunkfish, queen parrotfish, damselfish galore, and more! I didn't actually see the barracuda, but Dave and our dive master did. The highlights for me were the hawkbill turtle, the peacock flounder, the sea horse, and the enormous green moray out swimming around. The pictures here are not mine, but they were taken by Sun Divers and are pretty much exactly what we saw--without the other divers in the scene. You can check it all out on their Facebook page. We didn't see the large hammerhead shark, a manta ray, the reef squid or the whale shark--all of which they have photographed on their dives in the last year and show up on Facebook--but maybe tomorrow!

Tomorrow we're going out for a two-tank dive in the morning, and I hope we get a couple more dives in before we go. We both forgot how very much we enjoy diving and we'd like to make it an annual event. Jessie did not accompany us--getting her snorkeling is going to be challenging enough. She is not at all ready for scuba. Sadness.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Nope, not a sloth at all.