We were on our way to the first dive site of the day and the Captain accidentally ran over another boat’s line and now the prop is down. So, here we sit. Should have had our first dive of the day done by now. Actually it’s not all bad because we all need time to recover from last night’s bruising Manta Dive. It was spectacular but the surge was so strong we all got tossed around like seashells.
Here’s how it works. Manta Rays are attracted to light at night because the light attracts plankton; dinner du jour. The minute the sun went down the lights from the boat brought six or seven right over to us. We geared up and splashed in and were immediately surrounded by these most amazing and playful creatures. We descended and circled around the spot where the dive master placed our light. It became clear in the first few moments that this was not going to be easy. Everyone loaded up with six to eight extra pounds of weight to keep us anchored to the bottom but the wave surge was so strong no one was staying put; not even the big, strong Navy guys. As we clasped the rough rocks and tried to shine our torches upward as instructed, the magnificent show began. Manta Rays swam overhead and around, so close they gently grazed each one of us. Sounds peaceful right? Not so much.
There are 10 divers on this boat and we’re all very experienced but on that night we all looked like beginners. Flailing around with our lights, cameras, kicking each other in the face, tumbling around and around. But we didn’t care. We stayed down for about 45 minutes and at the 15 foot safety stop one of the Manta’s swam up as we held onto the line and did about 16 somersaults right in front of us, rubbing each of on one of its turns. Wow!!!!!
When we got back on the deck we laughed and apologized for finning each other but everyone was thrilled. Pretty much everyone showered and crashed. I stayed on the upper deck with my dive buddy looking at his videos. I didn’t take my camera thankfully because it was all I could do to keep myself from the spin cycle.
When I woke up I could barely move. So sore and banged up; but it was all worth it.
As I write this I hear the engines kicking in again. They must have fixed the prop and we’re on our way!!! Probably will only get four dives in today, that’s OK.
So, #diveforpeace is about gratitude. There is a couple on the boat with over 800 dives apiece (they are in their early 70s). The were highschool sweethearts and just the nicest people you’ll ever meet – Jim and Cherry Sue (yep, you read that right). Cherry Sue is just how she sounds. At first I was little worried but the two of them are hilarious together! Anyway Jim survived cancer twice. Cherry Sue said that was not about to lose her husband to cancer and so they tell their story of the fight. Jim says that every day is a great day and that he never gets down about anything. Seventy something, scuba diving and in last night’s conditions. So, I am grateful for my health and I am reminded that everyday could be your last day. So, please make it a great one.
Signing off, getting ready to splash. Will add pictures later tonight. Aloha
Dive 1: Beautiful Dive. Saw a small white tip reef shark and an eagle ray.
Dive 2: Was one of those ho hum dives, but every dive is a great dive
Dive 3: A beautiful dive. Saw another spotted eagle ray
Dive 4: The night dive. I skipped it! Had a glass of wine instead. It is actually pretty cold here and I was chilled to the bone. Sometimes, you just don’t have to do it all!