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#41898 07/10/01 06:43 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 60
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Thursday. Can we say a little dehydrated? Better try to run some of this out of my system. Left my runners in Fla and didn't want to do it in sandals, so it's barefoot time. Not bad, but some of the dead coral was a bit uncomfortable. Favorite moment from that was seeing some of the locals, who have seen joggers before mind you, look at me like, "where could you possibly be going in such a hurry @ 7 in the morning?" This was the day Paul wanted to use his newly acquired Scuba certification to it's fullest. So again, we're back @ Tuff-Enuff. (Remember what I said about Coke vs. Pepsi?) A small group is going out to dive and I'm not certified to do so. Rico, being the nice guy that he is tells me that instead of hanging out in town in my room, to grab my snork stuff and go for a dip for free. He believes that sometimes it just isn't about the money, it's about being a good person to someone who has been good to him. That's the kind of guy that reflects my way of thinking. So we hop on the boat and head out. Oliver the dive master asks me if I ever get seasick. Never have been I tell him. Well, you're gonna be today, he replies. But he also says it's no big deal, it happens to everyone. He even gets it a lot. Now I know he could have easily kept this secret from me and made fun of me mercilessly but he was cool and just laid out the facts. It was a prophecy that would shortly come true. We make our way out past the reef to where the swells are ranging from 3 to 5 feet. I let the divers plunge in first and Jovanni tells me to stay close to the boat. No problemo dude. Waaaaaayyyy ahead of you there. We were in about 70 feet of water and it was amazing to be able to see bottom and fish and the like. Having only learned to snorkel the week before and stopping in Key Largo to get my gear I quickly thought that I should always know 1. where the boat is and 2. always know what's around you, especially wildlife. (the third I'd quickly learn is always know where everyone in your group is. Trust me on this one.) Using the techniques I taught myself in my sisters pool and later in the Gulf of Mexico I ventured out from the boat in the rolling waves. Keeping within 30 feet of the boat I watched as schools of giant fish leisurely made their way by. I made my checks. First, boat. Next, nothing around me in any direction. Then, well, I was alone as Jiovanni was still on the boat. Keeping the boat behind me I popped my head above the water just to see what it's like to be in the middle of the ocean and alone. All I could think was "I'm in the middle of the freakin' ocean by myself! How cool is this!?!" It was short time later that Jiovanni jumped in to check the boat bottom and to tell me to watch for sharks as he'd seen a hammerhead there about 3 weeks before that. Great. Thanks for the tip. Remembering how sneaky the barracudas are sitting just under the water line, I thought a shark will be a whole lot more surprising to see when a wave rolls by and, hello! Nice to see, I mean eat ya! Well I had no worries about that because it was a couple of minutes later that a wave broke and rolled me over and with that accompanied a mouth full of saltwater down the hatch. If I wasn't going to be sea sick before, I would be now. Out of the water I go and up comes the short-term rental breakfast egg special. This amused Oliver immensely under the water as he stopped the accent until the feeding frenzy had passed. Glad I could provide a bonus for the divers. Chalk up another thing from the, never did before list. Back to the mainland for fresh tanks for them and a replacement for my empty stomach. I left them for their next dive and decided to make my pilgrimage to the Casa Gonzo to see the place that brought me down here in the first place. A long southerly walk to the end where I couldn't walk anymore on a hot breezeless day and I got to show for it is a picture and another waypoint in my GPS. Good enough for me. The afternoon was spent back on board with Oliver and Co. back to Shark Ray Alley. This was the one place I really wanted to experience snorking to it's fullest. And I did. A quick hop into the water this time and I wasn't let down. Ever been in a feeding frenzy with about 10 nurse sharks bumping you out of the way to some easy food? I can now say I have. Ditto on the stingrays. We'd go from boat to boat and the greatest thing was that as the guides would chum the water, the passengers would still be topside. Not us though. We'd get the full experience going from boat to boat and it's something that I'll never forget. Not only swimming with them, but also getting to touch them was amazing. What a blast. Thursday night dinner. Time for the Jerk Pit. A jerk chicken and jerk lobster dinner that was unreal. Actually, I discovered that you can pick just about anywhere and have a great meal.

#41899 07/11/01 11:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 677
That feeding frenzy thing at Shark Ray Alley is great. Never thought I would jump into the water with that going on around me, but no problem! And, I hadn't even had a Belikin yet. Jambel Jerk's is wonderful!

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