Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. I know it has been so long since I have written a blog, but I do have my reasons. I also am well aware of the extreme suffering that you all must be going through, waiting for some exciting news from the Caribbean (can you tell the sarcasm in my voice?)
So, what are my reasons for not writing a blog in a really long time. The main reason is that I haven’t been diving in almost 3 months ! Can you believe that ? I can’t. 3 months. This is the longest that I haven’t been in the water for about 5 years, not since we took a break and Chris and I were in NY for awhile. Although, we even dived when we were there. Yes, it is driving me crazy. Yes, it feels like I am an addict and I am crabby and not so fun to be around when I haven’t been diving in 3 months. However, I have a good reason. Chris and I are expecting a baby in October, so…. no diving for me or the baby.
I was debating whether or not to announce this on the blog, whether it would be a pro or a con. Part of me was thinking that some people reading my blog would think that it was a con because if they are coming to St. Martin then I won’t be able to dive with them. Perhaps they may think that I won’t be working as hard, or making mistakes (I have made a couple lately, I have to admit… but apparently the fuzzi-headed fogginess goes after the first three months, so I should be good to go now.) Then I talked to my good friend Soc, from Island 92, and he said that I was crazy. He said that it could only be a good thing for business because people are supportive of growing families and would be happy for Chris and I, just as we are so happy ourselves.
So, there you have it ! No diving, because I’m pregnant. It doesn’t seem fair that Chris gets to continue to dive, but I’m not really complaining about that as he is working so hard at the moment.
I think that I was especially sad this last week because the diving was so great. It was one of those rare weeks when there was hardly any wind. The waves were tiny and the visibility outstanding. People were seeing sharks, dolphins, turtles, and I was stuck in the office or on the boat watching bubbles. I did have a good snorkel a couple of times, but as those of you that are divers know, snorkeling just isn’t the same thing as breathing underwater !
I should also mention that I had a really successful time at Beneath the Sea this year. It was all thanks to my wonderful helpers; Steve, Ellen and Peter. Steve gets the gold star as he helped me out everyday, but Ellen and Peter also get little stars as well. This year I was much better prepared and ordered a larger backdrop for our stall. Last year it was only 6 ft by 3 ft and this year it was 10 ft by 5 ft, so it covered the entire back of the stall. I needed lots of help this year because Chris and Michelle weren’t there to help 🙁
I stayed at my Uncles house in Weehawken (Thanks Uncle Clay) as I did last year, but this time Steve came to pick me up every single morning. It stared on Friday when we first went to set up, and it was just so much more relaxing now that I knew where to go, what to do, and Steve was helping me out. Steve’s neighbor just happens to be the supplier of plants to the convention (weird coincidence, huh?) So, on Friday afternoon they came over and dropped off two extremely attractive palms for our booth. Steve also brought not only one table, but two. Which was to the benefit of our neighbor stall (The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) ) who didn’t realize that if you wanted a table you had to either rent it or bring it. Then I think they were surprised at the cost of renting a table ! So, we lent them our extra table (points for Octopus Diving!!!). Steve is also a diving instructor in the New York area, and he knew loads of people. This meant that people would come by the stall and hang out, making us look really popular. He also introduced me to lots of important people in the Tri-State diving industry, which was great.
Then that evening it wasn’t too eventful, lots of talking to people, telling them to come to St. Martin. In the beginning it is always difficult approaching people, but by the end of the weekend I was jumping out in front of strangers singing the praises of St Martin and Octopus Diving.
“Did you know that St Martin is one of the most easily accessible islands in the Caribbean?”
“Have you ever been to St. Martin?”
“Hey you! Yeah you! Get over here and let me tell you about St. Martin!”
(Well, perhaps I didn’t use the last one 🙂 )
It is surprising how tiring it was! Or perhaps that was just the whole being pregnant thing… but really trying to be up beat, talking to everyone, answering their questions, it takes it’s toll. Luckily on Saturday we had Peter as a reinforcement. This meant that I was able to do some schmoozing, meet owners of other diving centers, look at new equipment, and just the normal networking that takes place as well. Peter was great at approaching people and telling them about St. Martin and us. He is not a shy guy which is what you need at a convention.
Then on Sunday, Peter walked around the convention with his wife and Ellen helped us out! Ellen dives with us once or twice a year, with Elliot and Thomas, although Thomas STILL HASN’T gotten certified yet! (He has done about 14 discover scuba dives. We are hoping this next year is the year he actually takes the course).
We also had a guest visitor to our booth, and that was Jo Bean from Saba. I let her sell some items from our booth and have a little display as well. She is a real hoot and sold a lot of necklaces. Well… actually…. I think that Ellen and I sold a lot of necklaces for her, plus Ellen couldn’t help herself and ended up buying like three just for her!
It was also a really nice surprise to see previous divers that knew I was at the convention and they came to say hi. Here are some out of focus photos! I borrowed my dad camera and for some reason it wouldn’t focus! Anyway… Octopus Divers are still beautiful, even if they are a little blurry!
It was such a great weekend, I only wish that I had a photo of Peter, but I didn’t snap one.
I can’t thank Steve, Ellen or Peter enough. I really couldn’t have done it without all of you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
So, this turned into a long blog, I hope that it makes up for not having blogged in awhile. I will try and remedy that, whether or not I am actually under the water, I know that you all still want to find out what is going on here in St. Martin! Plus, I’m sure I will have lots of funny pregnancy stories too!
(Sally and her little one wrote this blog 🙂 )