Thursday, February 12, 2009

I am now a Diver!!!!

Had a terrific time on the cruise. Things didn't go according to the original plan, but everybody had a good time. I and my best friend flew to Mobile, Alabama Friday and stayed overnight. I got out to run Friday afternoon and a found the municipal park a couple miles up the road. It had paved paths to run on. I got in another run Saturday morning, before we got on the cruise boat. It was a couple hours late getting in. We found out why. The ship had two engines, but was running on only one.
There were about 80 people in our group. It was a Scout trip for the troop and my Venture Crew. 18 Scouts and the rest families and friends. My brother and sister-in-law, my sister and brother-in-law and their friends and friends of Scouts. We all had travelled separately. Everybody was set to relax and we all did. We ate well, wandered about and talked with each other and strangers.
We were supposed to stop in Costa Maya to visit the Chichen Itza Mayan ruins. Because the ship was slow, we missed that stop. I had seen the ruins and they are amazing. The Scouts were all disapointed. We got to Cozumel late in the day and had a couple hours to get off the boat before dark. Cozumel is noted for the shopping, especially for silver jewelery. The other thing to do there is to scuba dive or snorkel. Eleven of us in the Venture Crew had earned our scuba licenses for this trip. We had chartered a small boat for our group. The next morning we got off the boat at 5:30 and caught a taxi to the dive shop downtown. It had been windy in the night and we could see the waves were high. The dive crew arrived at 6:00 and looked at the water and at each other. After a consultation, they decided to go out. The dive boat was about 25 feet long and the waves were 3 and 4 feet. It was tough getting into the pitching boat. On the way out I lost my breakfast. A couple of the boys looked pretty green.
When we got to the dive site, we hopped in. A few feet under the surface, the waves didn't exist.
It was our first time in salt water. We had trained in a pool and the river here. The water was so clear, we could see 5 times as far as the river we had learned in. We dove to 45 feet and travelled along a coral reef. There were bright colored fish and camoflauged fish. There were coral growths like vases and like bowls. This was a marine park and we were warned not to touch anything so as to leave it as we found it. Forty five minutes went by too fast. We came up and went to another dive site. This one was within sight of our cruise boat. On the way, we passed the rest of our group on their snorkel excursion. We all waved. The second dive was as good as the first. It was like being in a huge aquaruim full of tropical fish. Imagine that!
One of the most fun parts of being under water is that you can move in 3 dimensions. Left and right, front and back, also up and down. Properly weighted, you are at neutral bouyancy, just like being weightless. You can do front somersaults, rolls, stand on your head. Just too much fun!!!
The second dive was all too short and we had to get back in the boat for a rough ride to the pier. We thanked and tipped the divemasters. Back on the cruise boat, we showered the salt water off and chowed down. Diving is hard work, but I can't wait to do it again.
The trip back to Mobile was without incident, a bit of rough seas one night. We got in 5 hours late, but our group all managed to get home without much trouble. We are working with our travel agent and negotiating with the cruise line about how to make up for our missed stop and scramble to get home. Maybe we'll get a tremendous deal and get to go again soon.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure you can use that dive skill in DV !!!