Hello everyone. If you don’t see me in the dive shop over the next couple of days, it is because I am in New York visiting my family for 5 days. NY is so convenient to fly to from Saint Martin, so it isn’t difficult for an impromptu trip. Chris is holding the fort down and doing a great job, as usual.
The main reason that I am here is to visit my grandmother, Nanna Vera. She is from England and is visiting my parents in New York (my mum is English for those of you that didn’t already know) for about 6 weeks. So I am joining for the last one. You wouldn’t know it from her youthful appearance, but in just 5 short years she will be receiving a letter from the Queen of England congratulating her on her 100th birthday. She should be coming to Saint Martin in November, so if you see a lovely British lady with a head like a white hydrangea knitting like crazy, that would be Nanna. I don’t think I am going to be able to convince her to scuba dive, but you never know. I have trained a few grandmothers to dive in the past.
So, you probably are not interested at all about what I am doing in NY as some of you are probably from NY! The reason you read my blog is so that you know what is going on in Sunny Saint Martin. Well, from talking to Chris last night yesterday was a great day of diving! We had three divers come in the other day that have been coming to Saint Martin for years, but always dived with centers on the Dutch side. They are staying in Guana Bay, which is almost exactly on the other side of the island from us in Grand Case. They said that they were sick of diving the same sites on the Dutch Side and wanted to experience some of the sites on the French Side, so they came to us. Well, according to Chris they were not disappointed and were amazed at the health of the reef and the biodiversity of the fish. There was even a Humpback whale spotting in between Japanese Garden and Chico at Tintamarre!
Also, there is nice family of four that is just finishing up their certification dives this afternoon. They came in last week and made the booking with me. It was a little difficult to fit them in, as they hadn’t made an advanced booking, so if you are a group of three or four, please try and make the booking in advance, as we would hate not be able to accommodate you!
I did want to write a little paragraph about the other day when I was swimming with dolphins. Well, actually I wanted to write a whole blog about it, but then something took my time away, and I didn’t get the chance.
Anyway… it was one of those rare afternoons where we only had one diver on the boat and we were going to the Dutch Side for a Deep Dive. So Chris said, “hey, why don’t we do a fun dive? We’ll all go.” Well, I had loads of paperwork to do (running a dive center isn’t all sunshine and fish you know… there is a lot of behind the scenes action that goes on as well) so I said I couldn’t. Besides, someone should stay in the shop in case future customers stopped by. Everyone was going to go out… Mark and Jenn (our two Divemaster interns), Aure and Stuart (our two instructors) and of course Chris. At the last minute I couldn’t take it, so I yelled out “Hang on! I’m coming.” I rushed out and put up a sign on the door “Sorry, out diving. Back at 4:30 PM” and we headed out. On the way, just as we were in front of Bay Rouge past Marigot, we saw the breathtaking site of Dolphins swimming our way. Chris quickly maneuvered the boat so that we were navigating with the Dolphins and not crossing in front of their path. Chris slowed the boat, and we went with the dolphins for a bit. Then Chris brought the boat to a halt and the Dolphins were still all around the boat. So I said “I’m getting in, I’m getting in.” I grabbed my mask, and jumped over the side.
Well, from the surface Dolphins look so beautiful and graceful, but once you jump in and look at them under the water, they are huge. HUGE! And they move fast. I didn’t even have my fins, and although the water was clear, it was pretty deep. The ease with which the Dolphins move through the water really made me realize how clumsy and inefficient I must seem in the water. After just about 2 seconds, I started to feel a little insecure. “Hey. Is anyone else coming in? These Dolphins are really big…” One Dolphin turned around and swam towards me, it was probably only about 10 feet away, and we made eye contact. Although it was a special moment, I have to admit, those Dolphins are big, and I was scared. After a few minutes of looking down at the Dolphins and the looking topside for reassurance from everyone on the boat, I got back on. It stays with you, those moments, and makes it all worthwhile. There is nothing better when you have tons of work to do on the computer and accounts than saying “screw it! I’m going diving” and be rewarded with about 10 Dolphins and some really close encounters in the water!
Thinking about that almost makes me forget how cold it is here. I don’t know how I used to do it, but I have become a wimp since my time in the tropics, and it is cold here!!!
Well, say hi to the boys for me if you are in Saint Martin this week. They are working hard in my absence, and if you buy something or pay for something, please remind them to write it in the book! Or else it is a nightmare for me!!! Or, if you are in Saint Martin and need something from NY, let me know as soon as you can.
Write more soon…
(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 From NY)