More dives from the depths of Roatan

Last Thursday was our last four-dive day of that trip. The Fourth, when you watched fireworks, I watched fish. While you looked up into the night sky, I looked up into the ocean on a rapid ascent trying to avoid jellyfish. While you ooohed and aaahed big percussive explosive, I enjoyed the quiet of a starry Caribbean night. There is nothing wrong with the July Fourth celebration, but there’s nothing wrong with trying something different, either.

There is an accumulative effect, even at a recreational dive depths, of the pressure on the oxygen in your blood stream. By day five, which is what last Thursday was, most people are really starting to feel it. Nitrogen buildup makes you feel rather tired, they say. Plus it is a tiny bit more physical than you’d realize. But mostly it is the chemistry.

I didn’t feel that, but by Thursday my ears and sinuses — delicate little features, to be sure — were wearing down. I have to clear my sinuses at least twice every atmosphere, like clockwork. If I can keep count I don’t have to even look at my depth gauge, I just usually know. And somewhere between dives 14 and 18 last Thursday they were beginning to voice their displeasure.

But the diving continued to be great. The weather was pleasant. That big storm system brewing in the Gulf of Mexico kept the temperatures nice and mild for us. We had the roughest seas of our trip last Thursday on our morning dive and the water was barely moving. The whole week was like that, perfectly designed, pleasantly enjoyed.

We did our last night dive of the trip, but there’s no footage of that. We do, however, have more terrific footage taken from the first three dives of the day, and plenty of neat pictures below. (If this whole professorial thing doesn’t work out The Yankee might consider a career in the media.)

(See that joke is funny because … hang on. ‘What’s that, hon? Yeah, you’re probably right. They probably know.‘ Sorry. Anyway, yeah, that joke is funny.)

To the video! And yes, there are more turtles to be seen here and below …

It never stops feeling like an other-worldly adventure, if you ask me.

Do you see what I mean?

In these next four I’m being an explorer, bravely exploring things which ought to be explored:

Here’s one of our delightful little turtle friends now:

They are always a big hit:

No, the reefs never stop being fascinating:

We’re trying to come up with the right human shot. It’s an ongoing experiment. I think we’re getting sort of close. What do you think?

Nailed it!

At the end of each dive you have to do a safety stop. Again, this is about the pressure and chemistry. On some of the dives here we’ve been situated in such a way that we can play around with overhead photos and video, like this one:

Of course there are still plenty of things to see, even at these somewhat more shallow depths:

This is the best photo of the trip and having brought a GoPro was worth every little bit of effort for it. The thing shoots better video than photos, we have come to realize. And you’re just sort of guessing on the older models. It is a wide angle lens, but there’s definitely a point and hope methodology to this camera. This one was supposed to be another overhead, full-body shot, but it didn’t work out that way and, in fact, it works out better this way, I think. Oh, the laughs we had when we were reviewing these at the end of the night.

A version of that, and several other dive photographs, will become banners on the site before too long.

I took this one at a safety stop, whereas The Yankee shot pretty much everything that she isn’t in. There was just something about this little outcropping I enjoyed. Shape and light, and size and wonder, I suppose. It is a tiny little reef mound in the scheme of things, and doing quite well considering the number of humans that stop by it.

Even for this shot, I had to wait for people to get out of the way. That’s always worth it, though.

Tomorrow’s update will feature our last dives of the trip, but I’ve got enough material left over after that to stretch this vacation out until next week. That’s what you should do, anyway, right? Even when you’ve come back home, after you’ve dragged luggage, enjoyed the pleasant Customs experience, sat in the car on the way to the house late at night thinking “The coral looked better than the silhouettes of these trees,” and then found your way to your pillow, you should stay on vacation, right?

That’s what we’re working with over here.

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