I did not intend to dance until 3:45 and then go scuba diving at noon. Completely unintentional, but delightful nonetheless.
Last night, Shar, Simon, Erik and I dined at Cafe Matisse. Wine flowed, conversations continued and coffee was served. They mentioned having one more drink and I believed it would be a chill night since we had planned a scuba dive for Saturday morning. We all recognized the ramifications of hungover diving and were not about to try it out.
However, one drink turned into two, into three, into more water since I am so hot from dancing. Finally, we left the packed bar and tried to catch up with Erik, our ride, back to Shar's house.
He had a minor scrape and leave while coming to get us. He laughed it off and herded us back to Sharleen's house. He said that he would meet us in the a.m. for our scuba trip.
I think I woke up at 9. Not all interested in starting my day, I checked the internet and then laid back down. Shar had not stirred and I had no plans on waking her up to talk to me. I read some of my book and rested.
At 10:30ish, Shar began to make coffee. We knew that we needed to call Erik to arrange a ride to the dive site. He surprised us by calling and saying that he would be there within 10 minutes. Since we were in the Bahamas, I took that to mean, we had 25 minutes. We did not.
He arrived and made us omelets at his home, coffee and packed a mid-afternoon snack between dives.
Upon arriving to Stuart's Cove, I realized that they were a by the book scuba outfitter. I would have to produce my certification card or be in the system to be able to join the group. I would not be b.s.ing my way into this dive.
Thankfully, the lady found me and I paid the rate. I was led to believe that I would get a local rate if my friend set up the dive. Somehow, that was lost in the translation and realistically, I was just happy to be able to go diving. Not thrilled to pay $130 for a two tank dive, but happy to have the opportunity to dive in the Bahamas. I got over the cost.
The boat was a mix of experienced and new divers. Simon and Erik wanted to do an advanced dive and so they were persuading Shar and I to embellish our experience. I have went diving before and would have been interested in an advanced dive had I been diving in the last year. My last dive adventure was in 2007 while in Fiji. I knew that I was rusty and that I would not be able to bullshit my way around the equipment.
Anyways, initially, the staff is all pomp and circumstance. We will have you sign the clip board, we are professional, yada-yada....It was fine since I felt confident in their services.
We made our first descent in the water. There was a plane wreck that was our focal point. Lovely, calm, beautiful water. I enjoyed the dive and realized that I had not been sucking in the air as I typically do. Instead, I had calmed down and truly enjoyed the scuba experience.
Between dives, we snacked on hummus and crackers. Everything was kosher on the level times and then we were told to get back in the water. We were in a tighter schedule with the cruise ships and they said we would have plenty of time to enjoy the second dive.
I didn't bring a watch. I was only concerned with my air situation. We saw a lobster, lion fish, jelly fish, reef shark and the reef, itself, was stunning. The dive continued and my air supply seemed to go on forever. I followed my dive partner, Erik, and relied on him to keep track of time. Like I said, my only focus was the air situation and not running into coral.
Erik surfaced and came back down. He pointed in a direction and bolted that way. I followed but knew that I still had ample air to utilize. I wasn't concerned about the time since I thought we had plenty of it.
We arrive back at the boat and didn't perform much of a safety stop and I didn't recheck into the boat as had been the case prior to the second dive. Apparently, we were 15 minutes late, holding them up, from the cruise ships and so the staff wasn't too happy with us. And, the safety precautions flew out the door.
Truly, it was not my intention to hold everyone up. The ride back to the dock was quick and bittersweet, almost. We were rushed in so that the cruise ship could be attended too, but, because of the hurried state of affairs, gratuities were not addressed or acknowledged. Normally, I would have tipped because it is a service and because they should be thanked for their professionalism. Today, the ride back was severe and abrupt. Boot camp style. Unpleasant.
Ironically, I met a woman traveling from Evergreen while on the day trip. She was on the cruise ship, begrudgingly, and thankful for the delay. Her story is as follows....5 of her friends wanted to do a girls' trip on a cruise. By day 2, she was over it and wanting to get away from the "suburban" housewives. I loved her and thought she was hilarious. I even reintroduced myself and told her that she and her husband should stop into the Bull sometime. Evergreen isn't far away. I suppose it reminded me of my own girls' trip to Phoenix. Not in the same way, but, with similar intentions of reconnecting with friends from my past. Somehow, we have managed, again, to drift apart. I speak to one of them on a regular basis and know we could pick up from our last conversation. I do not begrudge any of my girlfriends. It is just timing, priorities and being in completely different places in life.
Diving was excellent in spite of the rush back to shore. And, I met an interesting woman who lives near me. She mentioned that she always meets people from Colorado while traveling. I think that is true....we do like to travel and there are more certified divers in Colorado, per capita, than any other state in the U.S. Ironic since we are landlocked.