05/26/2012, Grenada West Indies
After many months of diligent study, more than 60 open water ocean dives and just plain HARD WORK, Lynn has finally graduated as a Certified SCUBA Divemaster under PADI.
I would like to congratulate my dear wife Lynn on her latest accomplishment!
Here is a video of the grad party ceremony with her loyal new friends at ScubaTech Dive Centre in Grenada. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSMZsxFMmSo
|Limin' in the Caribbean||
05/26/2012, Mt Hartman Bay, Grenada
This is a comment that was made regarding a recent post on our blog, and I can't let this go by without a full response:
"05/25/2012 | Geoff Craigen (craigen att sympatico dott ca)
I'm surprised that it has taken this long for the authorities to seek you out.
In one blog you boasted about being paid for cooking hamburgers with free meals.
In a recent one you told how you would earn your dive tickets by working off the cost at the said dive shop.
Now you've attracted the authorities attention to the crusing community. I understand from various contacts that you are being blamed for the undue attention.
To quote a recent email to me "As usual they have F...ed it up for everybody, because locals are on the lookout now, and as one said to me just helping a friend out on a boat ie you hauling me up my mast is technically illigal as you are not signed crew."
Maybe it's time to shut up and but out.
Well, Geoff, did your contacts tell you that it was a Grenadian business person who is jealous of the Hash busses and trips that I organize (with zero compensation, but it provides employment to Grenadians) who called the authorities to the Dive Center? They did not come of their own volition, but rather were called in by someone with false information. So how did my paying to take a legitimate course (to paraphrase) "F*** things up for everybody"? Maybe someone should have words with the local imbecile who called the cops on me, or even boycott him. When the Dive Center and I found that there was no legal way for me to work off my course, we nixed that idea and I removed that from the blog posting. Do you think the local dive companies are enjoying the extra scrutiny, too? Besides, I find it pretty unlikely that the authorities around here read my blog. But no, it is easier just to blame 'Silverheels III' because we are outspoken and involved. Apparently my paying to take a legitimate course from a properly licensed business has ruined things for people, and having a local taxi driver with questionable sanity with an imaginary beef call the authorities is my fault. Sure, Geoff, if that makes you and your email buddies feel better, you can even blame me if the cat had kittens.
However, this comment does bring up an interesting phenomenon within the cruising community.
Apparently there are cruisers who KNOW that they are doing things that are maybe not quite legal, or in a grey area, but as long as it is kept under the radar, they can still maintain their advantage. It looks like they assume that other people know those laws as well; but when someone makes a naïve post on a Facebook group or mentions it on their blog because they don't know that it was illegal, the aforementioned cruisers become upset. They get pissed off because whatever activities they are engaged in with full knowledge of the illegality, they may be discovered by the authorities. By appearances, some cruisers must believe "Why not circumvent the laws of your host country if you can save a buck or two?"
Let's use the hamburger flipping example Geoff alluded to above, shall we? Ken and I were asked if we would flip burgers at a marina, so we agreed. At the time, we did not know that in Grenada it actually contravenes the labour laws to even volunteer (even without compensation, so the "free" food doesn't matter) to do something that a local could be paid to do. It appears as if Geoff already knew that, as he himself had cooked burgers there before. I feel confident that the marina owner must also know this, but he deliberately puts cruisers into an illegal position by asking them to do this kind of work. So if my naively posting about this last June is such a big deal, maybe the business person should bite the bullet and pay a local worker the minimum wage of about $2.40 USD per hour. However, my posting about that was obviously perceived as a bad thing... I didn't know it was illegal, or I wouldn't have flipped the burgers in the first place... and therefore wouldn't have posted about it, either.
Fuel is another area where the law is merely an inconvenience to some... don't worry Geoff, I won't get into full details here, so I won't "f*** that up" for you or your "contacts." Some of the oil producing countries here provide subsidized fuel for their citizens. That fuel is not for export, yet sometimes it is found for sale in other countries or on cruiser boats. Don't question the legality, and don't talk about it, just enjoy the savings. However, when a Trinidad cruiser piped about it on one of the Facebook cruiser groups, it drew the attention of an employee of that country's Ministry of Finance (a member of that FaceBook group), and he pointed out the illegality of that method of procuring fuel. Cruisers looking for a deal were not impressed by their under-the-table fuel dealings being brought out into the light.
We actually try to not do anything intentionally illegal in the countries that we are visiting. Okay, I will admit that we regularly rip DVD's and CD's so that we don't have to find storage space for them on the boat. I like to think that if I post something, it's because I have nothing to hide. Perhaps the cruisers who accuse me of "f***ing things up for them" wouldn't feel so threatened by the authorities if they didn't try to knowingly circumvent the local laws. I don't think that these authorities really care if you go up someone else's mast to give them a hand, or do some tinkering on a boat for a friend. If my paying for a course is perceived as a threat to someone, I am completely and wholly unapologetic.
Geoff, I'll give you full credit for putting this out there with your name and email. However, your "contacts" apparently prefer go on a lot of assumption.
|Limin' in the Caribbean||