On Tuesday Chris and I went out on a private charter with Sarah and Jim. Both from Illinois they had chartered the boat for the whole day, and we all had so much fun. Jim is a certified diver with quite a few dives under his belt, but Sarah had never dived before at all, and Jim wanted her to have the best experience she possibly could for her first dive, so he called the experts! (That would be Chris and myself).
So, we headed out to Creole Rock for the first dive and after a briefing of about 15 minutes we all got in the water. Chris and I both dived, to make sure that Jim and Sarah had the ultimate in safety, and to be honest… it wasn’t really necessary, Sarah was a total natural. I was really glad that we were both diving. Chris and I don’t actually get to dive together that much, so it is nice to see eachother under the water again! Plus… about 30 minutes into the dive I look around and this huge, gray, undulating body was swimming past! I immediately was “ting! ting! ting!” on my tank. Chris though to himself “what now, has Sally seen a Parrot Fish or something.” As he looked around the dolphin changed direction and swam right for us. I grabbed Sarah’s arm and squeezed. Large underwater mammals can be a bit terrifying for one’s first underwater experience! I gave her the “ok” sign and she gave it right back to me.
The Dolphin didn’t stay too long, it turned around and swam back in it’s original direction. We stared into the direction it came from, hoping to get another glimpse. Chris thrust his two arms up in the water in celebration and then we carried on with the dive. Then, about 5 minutes later there were all of a sudden these large, dark objects on my left again… “Oh S**t!” Again “Bang! Bang! Bang! on my tank.” Three dolphins swimming past. These one’s didn’t take as much notice of us as the first one, and quickly carried on their way, but it was truly a memorable experience.
On the boat we tried to express to Sarah that this wasn’t the norm, that it isn’t every diver that get’s to swim with dolphins. I suggested that she had some good Karma built up, but she said “I am a pretty lucky person.” We agreed that she was.
Then, after reliving the experience about 10 times we ate some oranges, had some water, and headed over to the second dive site Turtle Reef. Chris was starting to give the breifing for the dive, when a Green Turtle popped his cute little head to the surface. “Well, you can see why we call it Turtle Reef” Chris said.
Again, both Chris and I dived on this site. Sarah had a little trouble equalizing on the second dive, but after a few minutes Chris helped her to the bottom and it was fine. We all started swimming towards the reef and I knew, I just knew that I was going to find a Sea Horse. I had this feeling, and when I am looking for something that is difficult to see, I chant in my head “sea horse, sea horse, see sea horse, see sea horse” and then with the words in my brain and the imagine on my mind I have better luck. I went over and grab Chris’ hand for a brief underwater hand squeeze, and then I ended up squeezing it super tight because I saw this most amazing little creature in front of me. A sea horse! I was in love. This time it was me thrusting enthusiatic fists into the air, as finding a sea horse does involve some skill.
The rest of the dive was great, with 4 turtle sightings, lots of fish and some happy divers! After the dive, back on the boat, I said to Sarah “you really must be very lucky!” As that is truly an amazing first two dives…. 4 dolphins and a sea horse!
Then we went to lunch at Skip Jacks in the Simpson Bay Marina and Jim and Chris went on a final dive at the Porpoise on the Dutch side. Sarah and I stayed on the boat and after swapping life histories we spoke about the environment, politics and boys… of course! I was kind of sad when said “boys” surfaced, as the conversation was just getting really good!
Here you can see Jim, Sarah, Chris and I after the days diving back at the center.
We celebrated that night when Sarah and Jim kindly took Chris and I out to dinner. We went to the Bistro Nu in Marigot (which is amazing!) and kept remembering the day.
So, thanks Sarah and Jim, for a day that Chris and I won’t soon forget!
(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 )