Wednesday, May 03, 2006
  Dive Report 5/2
Last night, Balu & I went over to Paul's place to go do a dive off his boat. I got to meet the dog, Apache, a big, gorgeous border collie. We met a bit late for a weeknight - 7:30 - and it was a bit of a ride on the boat, but all very worth it. Gorgeous night out, with a bit of a moon, crisp air.. Ah, it must be nice to have a boat at your disposal like that.

We tried to dive the Ancient Mariner, a wreck at about 70 feet. I'd done it before and was excited to see it at night without a boatload of students threatening to kick me in the face. Sadly, I jumped off the back of the boat into a very strong current and had to fight my way just staying where I was; getting to the front of the boat to the anchor line was out of the question. KICK-KICK-KICK - nothing. Aggh. This is the first time I'd experienced something like that, so I'm glad I did; now I know it's possible! I'm also glad Paul was still on the boat, saw me struggling, and came in to help me, throwing the line to me, pulling me in, and coming to make sure I safely got back on the boat. I was relieved when he said we should just try a different location, something less challenging on a night with current; I offered to sit out while they did a dive at the Mariner, but was happy to actually get to go under. So we went to the ledges. This time, we planned our entrance into the water to be within a few seconds of each other and in close proximity. It went off without a hitch. Phew.

It as an awesome dive. About 110 minutes long, deepest we went was.. oh, darn, I forget. Water was 79 degrees. I surfaced with over 1,000 PSI. I'm pretty normal on air now; it's a relief.

I found my first octopus, unless you count the one I spotted tucked into a rock of which I could only see its vent. (I had seen octopuses before - Alex found me a couple little guys. This was the first I found on my own, I mean.) This was a little guy- his body was about fist-sized or a bit smaller. He was sprawled out on a rock, so I was able to get a good, close look. Then he flashed purple and glided into a crevice. Awesome.

This is pretty much what my guy looked like.

I also saw a bit of an eel tail sticking out from under a little ledge. When I got into the sand to check him out, I realized he.. she? was sitting in there with a bunch of four or so white egg cases containing five or small white eggs. They hung down from the top of the ledge, like I've seen octopus eggs before (in pictures). I'm not sure how eels reproduce, so don't know if they were her eggs or not, but it was very cool.

I also spotted a bright orange, um, sea hare? A small one. I motioned for Balu to come over and see it. By the time he got there, it had tucked itself in a rock. I reached out to see if I could get him to come back out a bit. Mistake. My fingers, where I touched its jello-like body, felt funny and itchy for the next half hour or so. Another lesson learned. Saw a nice sting ray. Fishies. I shooed away a hogfish as Paul was carrying a net for the dive. He saw me but didn't yell at me afterwards, so we can continue to dive together. :) I'll let him be himself, but I gotta be myself too, which means helping the little guy out when I can.

We got in late, even with Balu & I being too cold to do a second dive. Despite the late hour, and since we were chilled to the bone, we took Paul up on his offer to thaw out in the hot tub. (Yes, this guy has quite the bachelor pad.) This means we got home at, oh, 2:30 a.m.? In bed at 3:30. OY!
Isn't plural of octopus "octopii"? :)
hehe.. i've always said octopuses, even when i thought the actual plural was octopi, just because i didn't agree with it. i have since looked it up - and octopuses is just fine! take that! ;P
What do you get when you cut a pie into 8 pieces?

An "octo-pie"
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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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