Well, I was lying in bed this morning, willing myself to get out and start the day, when I started thinking about how I should really put out a blog. Then I was thinking about what I should write about, what interesting anecdotes could I tell you all that would make you laugh and also want to coming diving in St. Martin? Lots came to mind, but nothing was inspirational enough to convince me to get out of bed and put fingers to keyboard!
So, I then thought about my fourth grade teacher Mrs. North. I know that this is non-sequitur, but it will make sense soon. My 4th grade teacher used to be really into creative writing, and one of the exercises that we used to do was free form writing. This means that you just write, you don’t think about it, you just keep writing. Sometimes you end up writing, “I don’t know what to write,” but in the end, something would fill the page up.
I thought, why not experiment with this on my blog and just keep writing. When I was in the 4th grade though, we were using pencils and those large ruled marble note books. Now I am typing on the computer, and the sad state of affairs is that I am at the computer a lot these days (answering your emails, not that I’m complaining, or blaming you, I’m just saying….) and that means that I can actually type really fast. Chris gets mad because I type so fast, then I will make a typo and I will have to delete and then retype, and he says “why don’t you slow down, you will make less mistakes?” but I can’t, I have to type fast. So my point is… what was my point? Oh yeah… my point is that I have less time to think as the letters come out of my fingers so fast.
So, now I am desperately trying to think of something to write, perhaps what is going on right now?
The divers will arrive soon, the boats are all ready. The weather is super calm today but it is a little muggy, kind of close. I love that word, “close.” I think that it is such a descriptive word for the weather. I mean sometimes the air does really feel close, not only is it humid, but it sits almost on top of the skin, sort of pressing us down. Anyone who has lived in NY in the summer, knows what I am talking about. Those summer days when you take a deep breath and you can feel your chest expanding and it almost takes more energy than normal because the air is so close.
Anyway… what was I saying? Oh, I was describing the weather. By the way! Do any of you listen to me on the radio? I am on the radio 2 days a week at around 9:30 – 11 AM, so tune in during that time to island 92. Tuesday and Thursday. The actual station is 91.9 FM if you are on the island but you can listen remotely from the US (or anywhere) if you visit island92.com. We do this “Grand Case weather update” to let everyone know what it is like over here on the French side of the island. But really it is just an opportunity for me to ramble on about all things diving and non diving enticing people to come dive with Octopus. Yesterday we talked about dogs, the dj loves dogs, so we talk about dogs a lot. We also talked about family and I think I used the word close to describe the weather on the radio as well! I must really be into that word at the moment. Anyway… you should listen, it is fun. Soc (the dj) always makes it seem like it is just a conversation between him and I on the phone, so I don’t feel like I am actually live on air, so I end up saying the most ridiculous things. Just like when I am writing these blogs, I mean, no one is really reading this, right? I am just typing in my little office with my cat Max messing up all my filing, and since I’m not even saying any of this out loud, I am the only one who knows what I am writing about, right?
I know my mom will read it, and she knows who Mrs. North is, and she will remember probably remember the writing exercises.
So, as the letters tumble out of my fingers, I know that you all really want to know about the diving and perhaps some interesting story so you don’t feel jipped for already spending so much time reading this blog, and now that you are invested in it, you feel obliged to finish reading… sorry about that, but now you have to read on!
So, I will tell you that I am now a certified (not “certifiable”!!! I heard you say that joke to yourself in your head!!) I am now a certified advanced nitrox diver. I completed the course, under the invaluable supervision of my husband Chris, and he passed me! Our last dive was on La Renee and it was awesome. I was a little nervous at first, but Michelle, who was taking the course with me (she is the Octopics girl, you know? Michelle), well, Michelle was even more nervous than me. So that meant that I was less nervous because I was trying to make her feel better which made me feel better myself. Then, once we descended and the wreck appeared suddenly below us at 140 ft, I though, “Wow, this is too cool.” Michelle looked awesome with her tiny frame and big eyes and these HUGE two tanks on her back and a stage attached to her side. If she looked that cool, then I must also look really cool too. Dang, I wish the one of us had had a camera. That would have been task loading too much though.
So we went down to 140 feet and explored the wreck for 30 minutes. We even went inside the wreck (taking off our stages outside as we wouldn’t have been able to swim inside the wreck with a large tank strapped to our sides). Once inside I took out this cool ring that we got the other day at Le Shore (a bar in Grand Case). They were promoting this particular drink and were giving away all of these nick-knacks. One of them was this bright green ring all covered in this soft plastic. The cool thing though, is that if you press a button on the ring, then it flashes red and green and blue! We thought that it might work underwater, and I wanted to try it out. So, at 140 feet I took out this ring (which I had hidden on one of my stage bands) and made the lights go off! Michelle clapped her hands together in joy! I filled my mask with water by smiling so much. Chris shook his head in disbelief, everything was perfect!
Then the 30 minute ascent with all of the required deco on the way back up. I had calculated all my deco stops in meters and my gauge was set to feet, so I had to multiply, or divide everything by 3, which was annoying. It was exciting though, the whole experience. I mean, maybe because it is something new, a new way to explore diving that I haven’t tried before. Or maybe because it was challenging and I overcame those challenges (those tanks are freakin’ heavy, and no one is give michelle or I a break getting them on and off the boat). At any rate, I can’t wait to strap those twins (that is what you call them when you are a cool advanced nitrox divers, “twins,” short for “twin-set”) and go to another deep wreck.
Although, thinking about it, I also had such an awesome dive the other day with Jim, Jon and Jay (from Ohio were the three Js) and we only went to 30 feet. The vis was amazing and I remember feeling so free and light with just the single tank, so I have to say that I love both types of diving! Well, lets be honest, as you all know I love ALL types of diving. Put me in a swimming pool if you have to, I just think it is cool to breath underwater.
Alright, alright, my fingers are tired now. I better re-read everything I just wrote to make sure it is blog appropriate. I think it is nice to end the blog with, it is just cool to breath underwater.
(Sally wrote this blog by typing non-stop, Mrs. North would’ve been proud! 🙂 )