Real life hits!
08 March 2017
So - this part of the adventure is over. I am now back in Falmouth, sleeping on my daughter's floor, looking for a flat, a job, and wondering how on earth I am going to be able to afford to do this next winter! Lovely to see everyone again, and now, two weeks later it all seems a bit unreal. Grey skies, drizzle and rain - all I can think of is lying in my hammock on the beach, having done some morning dives - how can I create that as a permanent fixture in my life!
Signing off this blog site now - but who knows, it may come to life again one day.
19 February 2017
Well, what an amazing day! After a mad scramble and early start, (chain ferries, border control, time differences meaning we caught the bus by the skin of our teeth) we (Jasmin Amanda James and I) ended up in Tulum ready to do a cenote dive. Wondering what on earth I had got myself involved in (diving through a cavern, pitch black, torches, single file, safety warnings all over the place) it was unreal. We dived a cenote called dreamgate which is a cavern full of the most beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Weaving our way in and out of all of these (excellent for practicing bouyancy control!) was just amazing - like going into a beautiful above water cave system with the added bonus of being able to float around it all. Two dives involved to enable us to see the whole system - the second was particularly beautiful. Look at images on Google people! Wish I could download the photos I took. Never dreamt that I would be doing something like this when I was struggling with my open water course! Thanks to Henry for sowing the seed! Then onto a little bit of luxury for my final night (own room, ensuite bathroom with hot running water!!!) before a final re-pack. A wet Wetsuit is going to be an interesting addition to the luggage!
18 February 2017
So sad to be leaving. Early wake up to catch the last sunrise, breakfast and then packing up the boat to leave. Some last team photos (waiting for Dropbox and Facebook to see most of them) before setting out back to Sarteneja. Anticipating getting very wet as it has been windy, but not as bad as we all thought. Then just as we were nearly there up surfaced a number of dolphin, all playing around the boat. Roberto stopped for us all to watch the show, which was amazing. What a lovely way to arrive back. Susan and I were warmly welcomed back to our homestay - ironic that what had seemed quite basic when we first arrived now seems quite luxurious! Flushing loo, shower that may still be cold water, but is fresh not salt. And the shower jet has three trickles not one!! Amazing. Then down to the ice cream place for ice cream (obviously) and WiFi. Lovely to catch up with Emma and Robert (Tom not answering from Pisa) (Pisa?!) and then most of the afternoon spent booking the Cenote dive and accommodation in Tulum, Mexico. Resisting the 10 bedded dorm option, and am looking forward to my own room again. Excited and daunted by the thought of cenote diving (how many new experiences can I cram in) but diving with three proficient divers, so should be ok!! Delicious lobster barbeque at our homestay and then a final goodbye and Belikin beer at Crabby's bar to everyone. What an amazing experience it has been.
Coming to the end
17 February 2017
Another lovely couple of dives to end this brilliant experience. Today was Fredi's birthday (one of the field scientists) so the 6.30 dive was her birthday dive. Great dive in channel canyon, which has the most incredible coral formations. Lots of towering spurs to swim in between, with a very narrow tunnel that I chickened out of swimming through, although all the kids did it of course! Went down to 28m again - no real difference in the dive physically, but knowing that there is that much water above you is a different story. Best not to think about it! Then my final boat marshall duty, followed by a final dive on Fito's secret wall. At least my dive log is filled with dives with really interesting names! Lovely dive. We saw 3 green moray eels, and then suddenly a large spotted eagle ray emerged from the reef and slowly circled us all 3 times. So amazing to watch, I think the rays are probably my favourite marine creature so far. What a way to end the diving. So the afternoon was spent cleaning and packing, before final party night, which had the added bonus of Fredi's birthday cake! 2.30 in the morning, various bodies on the beach indicated the success (or otherwise) of the rum punch and margarita's!
16 February 2017
Wind has dropped a bit so this morning it was up for a 6.30 dive. Loos blocked again - thank goodness for the boys, who collect buckets of sea water so they can be flushed through. Still haven't quite worked out why we need to dive before coffee and breakfast, but it is a good feeling to come back from being underwater to see everyone else just surfacing in time for Davide's call of foooood! Think he practices lung expansion exercises in order to extend his call. Two dives today, and neither of them great. Still struggling with a leaky mask, so visibility is poor. However, on the lion fish culls today the scientists managed a total of 15 fish. Hoping for a good load tomorrow so we can have a fish dinner. And yes, today's dives have been brilliant. As well as the fact that Davide speared another 15 lionfish, conditions were really perfect. The wind has calmed down, so getting out in the boats was easier, which makes for more relaxed roll into the water. Struggling still to get to grips with the weights - yesterday I needed the weight to get down, but today I tried with no weights and sank gracefully to the bottom (!). So second dive today we saw 5 nurse sharks, 3 spotted eagle rays swimming past us, 5 southern stingrays which swam past, and then one burrowed into the sand right underneath me. Then we eyeballed each other for a bit, before it shifted position and swam off. Completely amazing. Also spotted (not by me) 2 green moray eels. Seems as if everything came out to play today. Can't bear the thought that tomorrow is our last day here, but hopefully the dives tomorrow will also end on a high.
14 February 2017
So we have now just had our last day off. Yesterday wasn't a great one for me as I woke up with the squits and stomach cramps. So finally we were able to get onto the fore reef, and I had to miss both of the dives that I was scheduled for! Very fed up, but it seems that the weather is calming down as today has also been much quieter wind wise, so hopefully tomorrow is looking good. A bit of mania in the camp today which resulted in Michelle being buried in the sand, vertically, with mask and snorkel to breathe. Could only have been Michelle!