Sunday, June 19, 2005
  A four-dive weekend :)
Yep, four dives. Two with migraine, two without. The latter were slightly better, as you can imagine. :)

I have Tofutti pops melting in the car, so I'm going to make this quick.

Yesterday were boat dives. It rained. This is Alex & Alli. Aren't they cute?

My nice dive friends! I love this picture! :)

This was a post-Fish-ID-class dive. This is a group of us again.

Before we got wet, as you can tell because we dry & comfortable. :D
I don't know who that guy is, but he was really nice. He probably thinks I'm a big sour girl because I was headachy-nauseous the whole time. Trying to smile and be cool, but on the verge of tears the whole time. But that didn't stop me from noticing how awesome the boat, American Dream, and its staff was. They gave us crackers and canteloupe and the one guy came to check on me like 10 times even though I kept assuring him I was fine. Very nice folks. :)

Anyway, then we really got wet. Headaches aren't so bad when you have fishies to look at. :)

That's Alli and me. You can tell me 'cause I always have a braid. If I don't take the time to make a braid, then I have dreadlocks. Ay de mi. My arms are crossed because I was only wearing one wetsuit and was therefor cold for I am a total wimp.

Matt took this of a hamlet. I just discovered these fish. I thought they were boring, until Alex pointed out in class that they're related to groupers, as well as a number of interesting things about them. The grouper thing was enough for me - they're little fish, but they got big grumpy grouper faces, which I hadn't noticed before. Hey, cool. :)

Hi, grumpy mini-grouper!

Crewcuts look really, um, interesting underwater.

Doesn't his head look like something you would clean your shoes with?
This guy's name was Julio. He was supposed to be with us, but kept disappearing. Scubapro? Mmhmm.

Weather today was gorgeous. Gorgeous!!!

I was in a great mood, despite the fact I had awoken before the sun was up.

This is today, looking at little fish.

You see so much great stuff when you look close. I love it, and I still don't see half of it!
Thanks for the pic, Matt. :)

Here's us today after dive #3 of the weekend.
Stephanie, you will notice I'm wearing the frog towel you got me for Xmas. :)

Alex & I did another with the Conch.. um, well, we'll leave that out.. Marvel & Jenny in the afternoon because these other folks bailed just because they have "fathers" or something like that. Yeah, yeah, nice excuse. On this dive, I missed out on seeing a turtle, a tarpon, and a ray. Grr.

Yesterday on the dive, Matt let me use his camera. I think it was to take my mind off the headache. People do such nice things for you if you're not well - if you get seasick, you get to drive the boat. If you get a migraine while diving, apparently people will trust you with their beloved gear. Apparently, if you don't feel your best, people will put you in control of their really expensive stuff. That's great!

Scorpionfish! I am a huge fan of anything that looks grumpy/unamused. Hence my love for tortoises, sloths, thorny devils, etc. Needless to say, there are many fish I love. This is one.

Sea fan. Unspectacular pic, but I TOOK IT. They were trying to hide behind the fan or, I dunno, blend. Maybe they don't see in color. :D

Me, trying unsuccessfully to smile with my mouth full.

I'm pretty sure Matt took this picture to document the guy scuba-walking behind me. :D

No big firsts this weekend, but it was really great nonetheless. I was pretty miserable yesterday, unfortunately - it sucks to be miserable on a $40 dive, but hey. The headache went away by today so the weekend was salvaged with some shore diving.

Alex pointed out a really huge queen conch for me today. I had seen them snorkeling before, but never really got to see one up close, at length, unless I had lifted it out of the water. Then they look at you with one little eye and that's really all you see. Well, UNDERWATER, I discovered they have, gasp!, two eyes! And I got to see it huff itself on its big foot. And I touched its anus. That was a mistake, don't worry; I love my ocean critters, but I do not love my ocean critters, if you know what I mean. I thought it was a mouth-type thing. Like a tube it was feeling around on the ground with. WRONG! Oh well, I guess I'll just be popular with the conchs from now on. :D

Saw some snooks. I love the snooks, mainly because they are big and homely. Saw some scorpionfish. Saw lots of tiny itty-bitties - gobies, blennys.. some really pretty blennies, too! Yellow stingray. Eels gaping at me. Huge crab. Small crabs. Small shrimp. Lobsters. Huge sea cucumber, whose butt I did not touch. Although I later learned there's a fish that has evolved to LIVE in there. What kind of crap evolution is that? No pun intended. Har har har.

Mm, okay, time for tofutti.
Conch whore! Love your pics! Sounds like you had fun. I swear, if you keep up these diving entries, i will be tempted to try it if/when i move to a more Southerly region...
I want to gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! glad you had fun!
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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