Wednesday was another four-dive day

I’m still writing about last week as if it was today, because I’m still on island time.

Anyway, we added a shore dive to our regularly scheduled boat dives last Wednesday. When we came back to the surface we’d marked dives 10 through 14 for the week. Below is a video of the boat diving we did that day:

The resort offers unlimited shore diving, but unlimited in this context has some limitations. There’s only so much time in the day, after all, and there is some chemistry to consider. You can only dive so many times because of the nitrogen build up (Note to self: Get a nitrox certification so this isn’t a problem.) and there are a few other events going on at the resort as well. Just give me a tank and let me sit on the bottom.

But the shore dive is a little more involved than that. You pick up a tank, wade out over stone and sand and who knows what all has moved into the neighborhood. Then you snorkel out through really shallow water, over sea grass until you find and follow this famous rope down through the shore-breaking reefs. Before too long it dumps out to about 40 feet and there’s just the ocean in front of you and you can choose going down the reefs to the left or the right. Six of us — four people from our dive boat and two other new friends — went to the left. I would have just flattened out on the bottom there at the rope if anyone asked, but they didn’t ask me.

That was fine, too. It was a pleasant little dive in the early evening’s dusk. It would be easy to be poetic about such things. The sun was at an angle low enough in the sky that the bottom where we swam was turning gray. When we returned to the surface over that famous rope, it was still the light of day.

Here are some photographs from the day’s diving. There are plenty of fish to see in this wonderful wildlife preserve:

And you get some time with turtles, too:

As ever, the coral is always a fascinatingly complex backdrop:

And, look! I found a mermaid!

We’re swimming over entire ecosystems, tourists in a landscape that is a gift, ever reminded of the vital and fragile link this represents for us all:

Never mind that guy, though:

And on our shore dive, we saw two lion fish hanging out together. They’re an invasive species, and becoming a favored island cuisine, if for nothing else than an attempt to try to culture a fish that shouldn’t be there:

We should be here. We should be diving all the time. Observing, caring for, enjoying and remembering long forgotten tales about the power and the majesty of places like this. Let’s do it again tomorrow.

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