Jul 19

We did four dives last Tuesday

The diving pace really picked up last Tuesday. We did three dives on Sunday, our first full day in Roatan, and three dives on Monday. But on Tuesday there was also a night dive.

Night dive days go like this: you do two dives in the morning, around 8 and 10:30 a.m., come in for lunch and then take a slightly shorter, slightly more shallow dive in the afternoon, at about 2:30 p.m. That evening, at about 6:30, you get back on the boat. As dusk falls across the ocean, you jump into the water.

I suppose you could do fewer dives. Some people do, but unless you aren’t feeling well this makes no sense to me. You’ve come to a dive resort for a reason.

For the first few minutes of a night dive you can still see pretty well simply by the ambient light in the sky. But before long you must turn on your flashlight. You turn on your flashlight because, without it, you’re in a perfect darkness. Now you can only see what is in your beam, and what is going on in the beams of the people diving off your boat. We had eight people in the water for the evening dive, so there was plenty of see-and-be-seen. This was The Yankee’s first night dive and my second or third, I think.

You see a few other creatures, more lobsters and an octopus or two if you’re lucky. You see some shrimp. You see fish that are sleeping. I like to run my flashlight along the tops of the reefs, though. It reminds me of being at home in the woods, somehow, in some gothic part of the South.

I describe it a bit because I can offer you no footage. A camera in a night dive just seemed like one handful too many. But, there’s some nice stuff we captured on our first three dives of the day. First, a few video highlights:

And here are some photos The Yankee took over the course of the day’s dive.

I must peer into every vase coral I see, for some reason. This one was on our first, and deepest dive of the day and it was just within range of the dive:

Here we all are enjoying some of the beautiful reefs that Roatan offers:

Look! I’m on the Internet! Twice for some reason!

Did you see the conch shell?

The other guy in the photograph is a man named Tom. He runs a dive shop in Orlando and on his vacation he decided to go diving. I figured he’d have preferred to go snow skiing or something. I don’t go to another university and pop my head in to see what they’re doing on their campus on all of my off days, after all. Tom said he never gets to just dive anymore. He’s always teaching. And you’ve never met a person more enthusiastic about the water. It was great to dive with him and his wife all week.

I also enjoy a good fan coral from time to time. In the center of this photo you see a nice little Gorgonian, the standard of the region:

They offer you some of the most brilliantly blue water in the western Caribbean. The visibility is marvelous and the waters are nice and warm and calm.

How could you not enjoy looking up into a view like that?

Jul 19

We were in Roatan, Honduras

Welcome back. This is what has been going on the last few days. We skipped town a week ago Friday night and went to Indianapolis. We had a pizza and stayed in a hotel where a travel baseball team, full of youth and life and energy and dance party ideas, was staying. Ordinarily that’s not a problem, but we had an early flight to catch.

Which we did! We caught a plane! Bare hands and everything! And so the fly flew us to Atlanta. And then another plane flew us to Roatan, Honduras on Saturday afternoon. A couple of nice guys took our luggage and we got on a shuttle bus which drove us across part of the island to our resort. On the way we met the most obnoxious child in the world. The resort is a small place, so you tend to see the same people over and over. And we saw that kid, Evie, and her adults over and over throughout the week. She didn’t improve much. Or any, really. It would have been cute if she’d had Little Orphan Annie’s charm, but that role has been cast. And while I would never say anything out loud, I really wanted to say Evie’s Mom “I’d never be one to tell a person how to parent, but you should start.”

The teen years are going to be tough, and the adult years may not be any better. Pretty much everyone that had the displeasure came to this conclusion.

But that’s a person, and we were on vacation. This is a dive trip, and the resort, Anthony’s Key, is great. It’s a dedicated dive resort, which is growing out its family things. So you can take the whole family! (No Evies allowed!)

We signed in on Saturday afternoon, got our luggage and took a quick snorkel before dinner. I saw three starfish in those few minutes:

On Sunday we started diving. Three dives a day. Two in the morning, one in the afternoon. And I made a new grouper friend on one of those first dives:

And then The Yankee made friends with a turtle:

Here are some more clips from our first dives:

There’s a lot more to get through and show off over the course of the rest of this week. Maybe longer. Just remember to keep an eye on your gauges.

In the meantime, we have pictures!

Do you see the little white fish below? He’s also in the video above.

There’s beautiful coral around Roatan. I found I could stare at it for the entire sequence of dives.

But if you’re here for the fish …

This one is me. I am not a fish:

The Yankee is at least part fish, though:

On Sunday we went wreck diving:

Sitting at 110 feet under the surface is the Odyssey. The freighter, at 300 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 85 feet tall, is Roatan’s largest wreck dive, and one of the larger ones in the Caribbean, as well. It was sunk for divers in 2002. People see grouper, barracuda, tuna and sometimes sharks. We saw grouper and one barracuda, later in the dive I caught a glimpse of a tarpon.

But the coral formations are lovely.

Jun 19

For just ice

I’ve been working on this theory for about a decade.

This is the first time the Seagal Theory has failed.

Then again, why watch any of those better films when you could see …

Jun 19

Still riding slowly

It was a 26-mile-after-work kind of ride. I spent the best part of it chasing The Yankee pretty much the whole time.

I chase her more than a little lately these days, and so it was your standard issue fun spin around part of town.

It was a nice ride. Good warm air, a lot of UV, only about 14 different air quality concerns. I was able to accelerate up a hill. The rest of everything else was slow, maybe, but it felt nice. I should have stayed on the bike for longer. Maybe that’s what the slowness is about.

Jun 19

Still feels like an anniversary to me

We got roses for our anniversary and they’re now decorating our kitchen. Aren’t they lovely?

You know how it is. You decide to take pictures and then someone has to be goofy about it. And then someone else laughs at the goofiness and then just encourages the instigator. It’s an old story. It happened to us last night. I took the extra photos and made a little slideshow.

We saw this guy last night after dinner while we were out for ice cream.

(Update: He finished second in his age group.)