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:: Our Second Day of Dives

Today, we did another pair of dives with the same dive outfit that we went with yesterday. This time, we had one more diver on the trip- a lady from San Francisco who was visiting the Caribbean for some medical/doctor exchange program (she was an anesthetist). Sigh.. Must be nice being in a profession where island countries will ask you to visit and pay for your stay. Ain't nobody asking a computer engineer to come to their island to fix a timing problem in their cluster computer's message layer. And if such a situation existed, I'm not sure I'd want to volunteer to help fix the problem.


It's always good to see that Amy's still breathing

In any case, we all wound up sitting at a cafe for a while before going out, because the weather didn't look so good. Amy and I griped a good bit to the anesthetist about rotten housing prices in the bay area, and the pains of living in the suburbs. We finally got word that it was safe to take the boat out, so we hopped in and zipped over to a reef in the Tobago Cays. The rough winds made it difficult to stay dry on the ride over, and we were glad to finally get our gear on and get into the water. Unlike yesterday, we put into the water a good ways away from land. The water was choppy on the surface, and I took on a mouthful or two of sea water before getting everything ready for the dive. Fortunately, we found that the water was nice and smooth once we got a few feet down.


Fishtropolis

Being so far away from land made it feel like there was a lot more room to maneuver about. We followed the dive master along the reef for some time, gradually moving deeper and deeper. The diving was pretty good- we saw a couple of nurse sharks (sleeping on the job, as usual), and some pretty big schools of fish. I like the big schools, it makes you feel like you've gotten far enough away that they're not used to seeing people all that much. Anyways, it was some pretty cool diving. It made me wish I had brought the underwater camera along.


Blue guy, moving fast

Just as I was thinking we had seen just about all we were going to see on the first dive, our dive master started waving his hands and pointing off in the distance. We all sprinted over to where he was, just in time to see four large, spotted eagle rays that were starting to gallop away. These guys were huge (maybe about 6 feet wide?), and they really glided along pretty fast. I was only able to keep up with them for a little while (we were at 70 feet, and I was burning up air faster than I wanted). Amy chased them longer, and was rewarded when she peeled off pursuit- she caught a glimpse of a decent sized blacktip shark, swimming nearby. The shark got spooked though, before the rest of us caught up with her. Wow..

Back in the boat, there were some mixed reactions to the eagle rays. Our gang was really psyched about seeing them (our dive master said it was rare to see so many together). Unfortunately, the lady that came with us didn't see them because she was in the back of the group with her head down. What's even more unfortunate was that our dive master's sunny personality came out, and he started to angrily lecture her about how everyone needs to keep an eye on their dive master at all times. What a jerk. It's bad enough to miss something big, it's ten times worse when someone keeps giving you a hard time about it. Especially when you're the one paying for the dive.


It's easier to just take pictures of the divers

Next, we motored on over to the "pirates of the Caribbean" island we visited on Monday to do some diving along the nearby reefs. We did our mandatory surface interval time (to prevent the bends), while snacking and watching two guys that were being pulled around on modified surf boards by small parachute/kite things. The skies were a little cloudy, but the water was still good for diving. On this dive, I brought the camera along and shot a few pictures of things along the way. I found an underwater sea snake (it's a kind of eel), which was pretty cool. We had to double back on this dive, but there was plenty of vertical space on the reef to check out, since it dropped off a good bit into the water.


That spotted looking thing is a sea snake

The rest of the day was.. pretty odd. Our dive master said that he had a resort dive class that he was doing on a private island called Petite St. Vincent (PSV), and that we were welcome to come hang out there for the rest of the afternoon. Given that boat rides can be pretty expensive, we all took him up on the offer. Ms. Anesthesia, Cambria, Amy, and I hopped off on the private island, while Tim and Pete went with the other manly men to scrounge for food on a different island. PSV was pretty bizarre- it was well maintained, like some gigantic golf course with secluded little huts. A guy in a golf cart came by and kindly gave us a lift to a bar that was on top of a hill. We ordered some tasty sissy drinks and proceeded to wait. Unfortunately, my drink was really strong, and after the day's activities, I was pretty hammered half-way through it. Tim and Pete eventually showed up with lunch (various roti sandwiches), and we waited the day out swapping fish stories until our dive master returned to pick us up. Definitely, not a bad day.

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