Sunday, May 11, 2008
  We tried to go diving off the dinghy on Saturday

So yesterday we tried to go diving for the first time since the Caymans. Chris has this dinghy and we wanted to see if we could dive off it, so yesterday was our first try.

It was a disaster.

It took FOREVER to get our stuff together. Of course there were no parking spots, which we expected, so after we brought everything down to the beach, Chris drove home to drop the truck off and ride back on his bike.

While at home, he got sidetracked by the guy keeping his sailboat in the back, since he needed help with HIS dinghy. Then he finally got on the road to come back to the beach and partway there, he got a flat tire on his bike. So then he walked home and got MY bike and rode back. I passed the time quite nicely, watching the pelicans fish and talking to people that were approaching me about what we were doing with this dinghy on the beach.

We finally got out in the water. The dive gear took up the whole dinghy, so we had to ride basically sitting ON TOP OF IT, legs off to the side. Water splashed in the dinghy every time a wave hit us, and we had no space to move to bail it out. We got to where we decided we would go down, we spent five frustrating minutes trying to find our masks under all that stuff, then finally were ready so threw our inflated BCs overboard, and then Chris said, "Oh my God, I don't have my weights." I had loaded everything from the trunk we keep our dive gear in, and taken everything we needed, but apparently his weights were on the boat, not in the trunk.

We talked about what we could do - I could share my weights with him and we could probably both stay down, although it may be a little hard. Someone had taken my weights out of my BC in Costa Rica after our first dive, so on the second I was just diving with the 6 lbs on my tank weight. I didn't know why it was so damn hard to stay down, but eventually I just grabbed a rock and carried it around and it worked out fine. We decided that would be our game plan, but then around this time that we realized that one side of the dinghy was getting very smooshy - it was deflating. Obviously, at this point we called the dive and motored back to shore.

As we loaded the stuff back onto the truck, Chris declared: "Stacey, today we lost. There is no way we can declare this one a win, in any way." It had, by that time, become so bad that it was actually funny. I think had we just not had weights, it would've remained just frustrating and bad. But once we started to sink? Then it became laughable. A good four-hour time investment with no return. Chris said we could just shore dive, without the boat, but by that point, I was just ready to go home and start getting ready for our evening.

Oh, also, Chris got a big gash on his thumb from putting the engine back on the truck. Disaster.

Chris figured out later that thankfully we had not RUINED the dinghy, but knocked into the valve with our stuff - with the dinghy so full, we had no way to determine that out there. From now on, I think maybe we'll just use the dinghy for sight-seeing and snorkeling. :D

Seems failed plans are easier to take once you reach the absurdity level!
Glad everything worked out in the end even if you did not get to dive you ended up with a good laugh about the situation. Seeing something good on even the worst day sort of like taking photos when you should not and getting that special one anyway. The ocean will still be there when your go again.
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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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